Eleven Die in Attack in Snizhne, State Department Says Russia Supplies Weapons to Rebels in Ukraine
Ukraine claims Russia was involved in an airstrike on Tuesday that killed eleven people. Eight people were wounded, including one child.
"Today at 7 a.m. (0400 GMT) an unknown plane carried out a bombing attack on Snizhne. The flight can be described only as a cynical provocation," Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine's National Defence and Security Council, said according to Reuters.
Rebels and Russia point the finger at Kiev. But some say evidence shows Ukraine is not responsible. From the BBC:
Ukrainian defence analyst Dmitry Tymchuk argued on Facebook that the attack could only have been carried out by Russian jets as Ukrainian planes had carried out no flights since the An-26 transport plane was downed on Monday.
It would be the first known occasion when a Russian warplane had become involved in the conflict, if true.
In a video, one woman accused Ukraine and asks Russian President Vladimir Putin to defend the people in east Ukraine.
The European Union will hold a meeting on Wednesday to discuss more sanctions against Russia.
"Tomorrow in Brussels, the heads of state and government will again assess the situation on the ground and, should it be required, adopt necessary decisions," said EU Commissioner Stefan Fuele.
The EU recently passed sanctions against eleven rebel leaders in east Ukraine who are not connected to the West. The United States State Department said there is no evidence Russia stopped supporting the separatists in east Ukraine and has proof Moscow sends weapons.
"In fact, we assess that Russia continues to provide them with heavy weapons, other military equipment and financing, and continues to allow militants to enter Ukraine freely,” said the department. "We are concerned much of this equipment will be transferred to separatists, as we are confident Russia has already delivered tanks and multiple rocket launchers to them from this site.”
However, the State Department is a tad late. On May 25, the day of Ukraine’s presidential election, journalists in the east posted videos of Chechens from Russia and these men said they were sent by their leader to help the separatists. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow sends the rebels “humanitarian aid” and one militia leader said the aid includes military weapons. Then Kiev said Russia moved tanks over the border and NATO released satellite images that confirmed the suspicions.
On Sunday, Russia said a Ukraine shell hit Russian territory and killed a civilian. Then on Monday, Ukraine claimed Russia took down an AN-26 transport plane with a rocket. Kiev did not confirm if anyone died, but an AFP reporter saw charred remains at the site. Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko also said there are Russian soldiers and officers fighting alongside the separatists.