BIDEN PLEDGES “UNWAVERING SUPPORT” FOR UKRAINE


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President Biden had recently pledged “unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty” amid Russia’s growing military pressure along its border.
The Wall Street Journal reported that some of Biden’s top officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, also held phone conversations with their Ukrainian counterparts. 
“President Biden’s been very clear about this. If Russia acts recklessly, or aggressively, there will be costs, there will be consequences,” Blinken told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. 
The military buildup is seen as the largest since 2014. Officials at the Kremlin said these forces have been put in place to respond to any Kyiv attacks on Russian separatists in the region. Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary at the Kremlin, said the region has become a “powder keg” and voiced concerns that the hostilities could result in “mass” casualties. He said Russia reserves the right to position its forces within its borders as it sees fit.
Dmitry Kozak, a top Russian official, said Moscow could intervene to defend Russians, and he warned that any kind of escalation could lead to the destruction of Ukraine. He said the conflict might not be a “shot in the leg, but in the face.”
Ukrainian troops have had confrontations with separatists in the conflict zone in 2021, resulting in 25 troop fatalities. The BBC reported that German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Russian President Putin in a phone call to “de-escalate tensions.”
The Journal, citing a report by Janes, the information group, said there are at least 14 Russian ground troop units in the region. 
Forget About It 
The western media no longer reports on the U.S.-backed overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014. Elected in 2010 to succeed Viktor Yushchenko, who was championed by the U.S. when it ostensibly launched the Orange Revolution in 2004 that put him in power, Ukraine’s Central Election Commission and international observers declared that the 2010 presidential election was legitimate and fairly conducted. 
The Trends Journal has reported extensively on the events leading up to and following the overthrow of Yanukovych and the replacement government led by Petro Poroshenko. (For one such article, see “Ukraine” from March 2014.)
Enriching its military-industrial complex, the U.S. provided nearly $2 billion of taxpayer money to the country in the name of foreign aid and military assistance.
The WSJ reported that Russia wants Kyiv to implement a French and German-backed peace deal that calls for local elections in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, where there are 640,000 residents with Russian passports.
Reuters reported that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called for an end to the hostilities in the region after a meeting in Istanbul with Zelensky. 
“We hope for the warring escalation observed on the field recently to end as soon as possible,” Erdogan said. He said Ankara is willing to “provide any support necessary for this.”
The Reuters report noted Turkey sold drones to Ukraine in 2019, and Zelensky said he discussed “issues of security and joint counteraction to challenges in the Black Sea region” with Erdogan. 
TREND FORECAST: According to Anti-War.com, the U.S. is sending warships to the Black Sea in what a Pentagon official, cited by CNN, said was a demonstration of support to the government of Ukraine in response to claims of increased Russian military presence in the country’s eastern border. 
They note that the Black Sea, however, is nowhere near the current conflict zone in the Donbas, further east of which the alleged Russian buildup is occurring.
Last Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said,
“The United States is increasingly concerned by recently escalating Russian aggressions in eastern Ukraine, including Russia’s movements on Ukraine’s border. Russia now has more troops on the border of Ukraine than any time since 2014. Five Ukrainian soldiers have been killed this week alone. These are all deeply concerning signs.”
Should war break out in Ukraine, we forecast the Russians will not be defeated, and the Donbas region of Eastern Ukraine will move toward cession and maintain its open border arrangement with Russia.

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