White House Supports Ukraine's Actions in East While Russia Pushes UN to Condemn
The West and Russia had different reactions to the Ukrainian anti-terrorist operation in east Ukraine on Tuesday. The Ukrainian army freed the airport in Kramatorsk from pro-Russian forces.
The White House said they support the actions of the army.
"The Ukrainian government has the responsibility to provide law and order and these provocations in eastern Ukraine are creating a situation in which the government has to respond," White House spokesman Jay Carney said at a briefing.
Carney told the White House Press Corps the United States is still not considering lethal assistance to Ukraine.
But Russia and Russian state media were quick to condemn the moves and even made false reports of deaths and injuries.
"The reports we are getting cause deep concern. To all appearances, events are beginning to develop under the worst case scenario," Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian foreign ministry's human rights representative, was quoted by state news agency RIA as saying.
Russia Today said there were up to 11 deaths of pro-Russians at the airport, but journalists at the scene said there was no confirmation of the reports. Daniel Sandford at BBC even noticed the sporadic reporting.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon he wants the UN to denounce the actions by the Ukrainian army.
"The crisis situation in Ukraine, which escalated rapidly due to the forceful operation initiated by the Kyiv authorities in the country's south-east, has been discussed," the Kremlin press office said in a statement.
"Putin emphasized in particular that Russia expected the UN and international community to clearly condemn these anti-constitutional actions," the document said.
Reuters reported Ban told Ukraine he is not going to send UN peacekeepers to east Ukraine at this time. On Monday, Ukraine’s interim President Oleksandr Turchynov asked Ban to send in the peacekeepers as a way to help ease the tension.
"At this moment, it doesn't seem very practical to send troops," Ban told Mexican newspaper Reforma, according to the Spanish text of an interview.
"Unless we have a clear mandate and authorization from the Security Council, I can't take any action," Ban said.