Ukraine’s President-elect, billionaire and Orange Revolution insider, Petro Poroshenko is loudly demanding direct military aid from the U.S. After he inappropriately invoked the image of FDR’s Lend Lease in an interview on May 26 with the Washington Post‘s David Ignatius — thus joining Britain’s Prince Charles in the comparison of Russia under Vladimir Putin to Nazi Germany — Poroshenko went to Germany’s Bild tabloid to make the same demand. He also repeated his belief that Russian President Putin is solely responsible for the violence in eastern Ukraine. “I have no doubt that Putin can end the fighting with his direct influence,” he said. He also declared, yesterday, that Ukraine’s fight to regain control “has finally really begun.”
Denis Pushilin, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, meanwhile vowed to resist the Kiev regime’s military operations.”We are not going to leave, and we are not going to surrender. This is our land and our home,” he told a rally in Donetsk yesterday.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, told Secretary of State John Kerry by telephone that the Ukrainian military operations must stop. And, he told German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier that “It’s necessary to take emergency steps to stop the bloodshed and start an inclusive internal Ukrainian dialogue.” Lavrov also warned separately that “The people (of Ukraine) are in essence being pushed into the abyss of fratricidal war.”
Heavy fighting is still being reported in various parts of eastern Ukraine, in Slavyansk and Luhansk, in particular. Acting President Alexander Turchynov acknowledged in Parliament the downing of a Ukrainian military helicopter yesterday, with the senior general in charge of training the National Guard among the 14 killed. Residential neighborhoods in Slavyansk continue to be under mortar fire; Russian TV shows people attempting to flee the city, or at least send their children out by bus. In Luhansk, a National Guard base was reportedly attacked by gunmen, causing more losses among the Ukrainian forces. The People’s Mayor of Slavyansk announced, yesterday, that his forces had taken into custody four OSCE monitors who had been picked up in the area. Another group of OSCE monitors that had been taken into custody by anti-Kiev forces was released west of Dontesk on May 28.