Ukraine’s Foreign Minister tells U.S. senators of Russia’s arms supplies to Donbas
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin during his two-day Washington visit attended a Tuesday hearing “On Russian Policies and Intentions Toward Specific European Countries” at the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, Joinfo.com reports with reference to UNIAN.
Klimkin emphasized that Russia’s hybrid war against Ukraine translates into a shocking amount of Russian weaponry “pumped into the occupied Donbas and Crimea.” “It’s now about 4,200 regular troops and up to 40,000 militants, it’s about more than 400 tanks and 800 armored vehicles; it’s up to 1,000 artillery systems and over 200 multiple rocket launchers; around 23,000 troops in the occupied Crimea,” Klimkin said.
He also recalled how a Russian agent in the International Court of Justice had made a “completely ridiculous statement that the Russian-backed militants actually discovered all that weaponry being hidden in the old Soviet coal mines.” “Can anyone believe it?” Ukraine’s top diplomat emphasized. Also, the minister noted that the Kremlin’s war against Ukraine over the past three years has led to over 7% of the country’s territory being occupied, over 10,000 Ukrainians – both military and civilians – losing their lives, with more than 23,000 being injured.
As it was reported earlier, Russia’s agent at the ICJ Ilya Rogachev on Tuesday rejected Ukraine’s accusations of sponsoring terrorism in the east of Ukraine and supplying weapons to fighters of the self-proclaimed republics in Donbas, explaining that the weapons had been seized from the Ukrainian army and from former Soviet army storage sites built in coal mines in Ukrainian territory.
In turn, Secretary of the U.S. State Department Rex Tillerson during his meeting with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin reiterated Washington’s support for Ukraine in the fight against the aggression of the Russian Federation, according to the MFA of Ukraine’s press service.
“United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson emphasized that the U.S. would further support Ukraine, and the U.S. sanctions against the Russian Federation will stay in force until the Minsk Agreements are fully implemented, the aggression is ceased, the Donbass and the Crimea are de-occupied,” the press service reported.
According to the Voice of America’s Myroslava Gongadze, Klimkin, while speaking with the reporters following the meeting with Tillerson, said: “I also want to point out that the message was voiced very clearly: there can be no formal, informal, imagined, mythological bargains; that is, the Ukraine issue will by no means be decided in the context of other issues. The issue of Ukraine is fundamentally important for the United States.”
“We also discussed the range of issues on how the United States can do more in terms of assisting Ukrainian reforms, and of course, we agreed on how we would further work on the key challenges facing us. I think that it was really a very good meeting and I am very grateful to the Secretary of State for this meeting,” said the Ukrainian minister.
Militants launched 108 attacks, 7 soldiers wounded in past 24 hours in Donbas
Over the past day, March 7, Donbas terrorists shelled 108 times the Ukrainian positions in the zone of the Anti-Terrorist Operation, leaving seven Ukrainian soldiers wounded, according to a daily report by the ATO Headquarters press center,Joinfo.com reports with reference to UNIAN.
“In the Donetsk sector, the occupiers fired from 122mm artillery at our positions in the area of Zaitseve. Mortars of various calibers were shot at Severne, Butivka coal mine, Luhanske, Avdiyivka, Zaitseve, and Verkhnetoretske. Luhanske, Kam’ianka, Troitske, and Pisky were shelled from grenade launchers and shot at from small arms. Pisky was fired on from an enemy infantry fighting vehicle. A sniper was active near Novoselivka,” the report reads.
In the Mariupol sector, the militants repeatedly fired from the artillery systems on Talakivka and Taramchuk. Tanks fired at Shyrokyne, and mortars of various calibers were repeatedly fired at Krasnohorivka, Pavlopil, Vodiane, Mar’inka, and Talakivka. Grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, and small arms were used against Berezove, Novotroitske, Vodiane, Hnutove, Pavlopil, Mar’inka, and Shyrokyne. Shyrokyne was also shelled from anti-aircraft weaponry.
In the Luhansk sector, positions of the Ukrainian forces in Krymske were fired on from 122mm artillery. The enemy mortared Malynove, Orekhove, Novo-Oleksandrivka, Krymske, and Novotoshkivske. Anti-tank grenade launchers were fired on Novotoshkivske. The invaders shot small arms on Novo-Oleksandrivka and Novozvanivka. A sniper was active outside the village of Luhanske.