Ukraine Day 1254: LIVE UPDATES BELOW. Three Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded in the last two days.
Yesterday’s coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
ATO troops near the front line. Photo by EPA/UPG.
In an interview with BBC World News today, Volker said the US was “considering” sending lethal arms to Ukraine and did not see such a move as “provocative”.
But the US has not made a decision to send lethal arms to Ukraine, the State Department said today at the noon briefing.
In his interview with BBC, Volker said:
“Defensive weapons, ones that would allow Ukraine to defend itself, and to take out tanks for example, would actually help,I’m not again predicting where we go on this. That’s a matter for further discussion and decision. But I think that argument that it would be provocative to Russia or emboldening of Ukraine is just getting it backwards”
Volker said there were more Russian tanks in Ukraine now than tanks in the possession of all Western European nations taken together.
“First, Russia is already in Ukraine with all its heavy armor. Now there are more Russian tanks there than are in all the countries of Western Europe, taken together. This is a very, very large military continent. And even larger contingent is concentrated on Russian territory at the borders of Ukraine. Russia has full right to do that, its their territory, they can deploy there as many military as they want. So that decision in no way ‘provokes’ Russia to do something which they have not yet done. And it in no way changes the balance of forces.”
While the US Congress approved sending arms to Ukraine, President Barack Obama did not approve of the measure.
“If we make such a decision, that will give Ukraine the opportunity to defend itself in the event if Russia takes further steps on Ukrainian territory. Russia says that it is ‘not doing’ anything of this kind and does not intend to do it. If that is so, the delivery of defense weapons will not bring anyone any risk.”
On the Mariupol line, militants pounded Lebedinsky, Krasnogorovka, Novotroitskoye and Shirokino with grenade-launchers. Two Ukrainian soldiers were wounded near Bogdanovka.
Militants switched to 82-mm and 120-mm mortars in an attack on Krasnogorovka after 23:00.
He said Ukrainian forces fired artillery ranging from 82-mm and 120-mm to 122-mm and 152-mm along the Mariupol line as well as on the Gorlovka line, and violated the ceasefire 42 times.
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick