US State Department says Kiev has right to use airstrikes against civilians
According to US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, the Ukrainian government defends the country, inflicting air strikes on civilians in the east of the country. She stated this today at a regular meeting with reporters. Psaki justified Kiev's actions in relation to the militia.
Asked by RT reporter Gayane Chichakyan of civilians who are suffering from the bombing, which is conducted exclusively by the Ukrainian army, and not by the anti-Kiev militia, Jen Psaki said that Kiev had the right to do it, so it protects the integrity of the country. "The Ukrainian authorities are protecting the country. I think they have to have every right to do it, it is the same way to act in the international community," she said.
In addition, Psaki commented recent statement of US State Department's spokesperson Marie Harf that Ukrainians do not leave the country because of the crisis, but just go to visit their grandparents in Russia. She explained that the US cannot believe the sources that report on increase of migrants' flow.
After representative RT referred to a number of American media who write about the numerous Ukrainian refugees, State Department spokesman responded that the source of these messages is the Federal Migration Service of Russia, which is not an international organization, so it the data provided by it should to be verified.
The fighting in the south-east of Ukraine continues. The authorities in Kiev use artillery and tanks to combat militias. All this caused the flight of the population in the east of the country. People move to other cities inside Ukraine, to relatives and to camps of temporary residence in Russia. The UN estimates that about 100 thousand people have crossed the Russian border, but Russian Federal Migration Service states that the figure may be four times higher.
The US Department of State believes that the Ukrainian military operations in the east of the country are adequate, spokesperson Jen Psaki said at a briefing in Washington. According to US opinion, operations of the Ukrainian security forces have a moderate and restrained character.
"In terms of events of what’s happening on the ground, our view is that the Ukrainian security forces' operations have been moderate and measured; they’ve been taking steps to maintain calm within their own country," Psaki supposes.
The press office of the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) reported on Wednesday artillery fire in the village in Lugansk region and the deaths of ten civilians including a child. "According to the information of militia, about ten civilians, including a girl aged five to six, died in the Lugansk village in artillery fire," LPR press service head Vladimir Inogorodskikh said on Wednesday, Interfax reports.
A civilian bus came under fire in Slavyansk leaving two people dead, Donbass People's Governor Pavel Gubarev said citing self-defense leader of the Donetsk People's Republic Igor Strelkov.
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"The enemy's artillery is functioning non-stop. Slavyansk is under fire as well. A civilian bus came under fire near a bridge across Kazyonniy Torets. Two people died and three were injured," Gubarev posted on Facebook on Wednesday, Interfax reports.
One serviceman died, four were seriously injured in a mortar fire attack on the Novoazovsk border post in the Donetsk region on the Russian-Ukrainian frontier at 2:00 am Kiev Time, according to border guards. "The gunfire killed one serviceman and four others sustained injuries of various degrees," the Ukrainian State Border Service said.
Ukrainian military forces have conducted a massive artillery fire overnight Wednesday at the Donetsk regional city Kramatorsk, according to reports by local militiamen.
"A strong gun battle had been waged at the city which was literally showered with shells. Powerful blasts were heard with a frequency like an automatic fire," a representative of the people's militia said, adding that the gunfire had been waged presumably from Grad missile multiple fire launch systems.
Several residential houses caught fire in the shelling in the settlement of Krasnogorka near the city of Kramatorsk. Local residents and public buildings were destroyed, at present, no information about casualties or deaths are available.
At the same time, answering the questions of journalists, Psaki mentioned that Russia have not made some steps and that is why ceasefire in Ukraine was not mutual: "Our belief is that while President Poroshenko said he’s ready to implement a bilateral ceasefire, any ceasefire must be mutual, and there are steps that the Russians have not taken that they need to continue to take."
After the question regarding the Ukrainian decision to end the ceasefire, Psaki mentioned, that : "let's not forget that we're talking about Russian-backed separatists and Russians moving troops near the border, moving equipment across the border."
During the briefing, the US Department of State spokesperson Jen Psaki has also commented on the telephone talk between Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and his American counterpart Kerry. Answering the question, concerning the differences in the two readouts – US and Russian versions, which are pretty diametrically opposed, Psaki said: "It's also no secret that we have some ongoing differences of opinion with Russia."
Previously, discussing the cases of Russian journalists' murder in Ukraine, Psaki mentioned that : "We have seen media reports about it (the death of Russian journalists in Ukraine), but we do not have confirmation of this information, as well as the details and reasons for the incident," she said at a briefing in Washington.
With that Jen Psaki noted that in case of confirmation of this information the State Department "certainly expresses condolences to the families of journalists," Interfax cites her.
Furthermore, the representative stressed that Washington "calls on all parties of the conflict in Ukraine to ensure the safety of journalists," covering the events in this country.