On August 29, 2014 Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral Kirby gave a briefing then took some questions and answers from reporters concerning a wide array of topics including, but not limited to the military situation in the Ukraine.
In one exchange the Admiral was asked to give a sketch of the situation on the ground in that country:
Q: Admiral, on Ukraine, could you sort of sketch out the picture on the ground there as best you could, in terms of what the latest movements of Russian forces, tanks and other forces, into Ukraine, what numbers, and the degree to which that represents an escalation of their involvement, and whether you consider this an invasion?
REAR ADM. KIRBY: Okay, well, there’s an awful lot there, Bob. I’m not going to try to detail in great specificity what the Russian armed forces are doing. I mean, that’s really for their defense ministry to speak to. I mean, it’s their military, and we don’t have a perfect view of everything they’re doing.
That said, as I have said many times, we have continued to see them build up their capabilities along that border. We have continued to see them advance weapons systems, some very sophisticated, into eastern Ukraine, in support of the separatists. And as I’ve said just — just earlier this week, that we have long believed that Russian forces, military forces have been a part of that movement, obviously, facilitating the movement and then helping the separatists use, if not using it themselves in support of separatists.
So we’ve seen this continue to build and build and build, and now you’ve seen NATO come out with some imagery recently that has shown — not only laid bare those facts for everybody, but talked about how in the last couple of weeks that effort has intensified. As the Ukrainian armed forces have gotten more capable and been able to retake territory in eastern Ukraine — and that is, that we believe that that has helped foster Moscow’s intention to intensify these efforts.
So it’s a continuation of what we’ve seen all along. Whatever verb you want to put on it, whatever you want to call it, it’s just, again, intensification of the same behavior that we’ve been seeing Russia do now for several months. So our position hasn’t changed. We continue to look for ways to support the Ukrainian armed forces and the border guards. We continue to look for ways to reassure our NATO allies and partners, and we continue to call for Russia to pull its forces back and to stop escalating the tension there.
Q: On that point about looking for ways to support Ukrainian forces, do you — are you preparing any new initiatives? Are you considering training inside Ukraine with U.S. forces or anything of that nature?
REAR ADM. KIRBY: I’m not aware of anything that’s specifically inside Ukraine, Bob, but we have had a 20-year-plus relationship with the military of Ukraine, and that will continue, and we believe that it is in some measure helped with their own professionalism and organization and command and control capabilities, simply the association with us and the training opportunities that we’ve had. I don’t have anything specific to announce today in terms of a new exercise, but we are continuing — and I think there were press reports about yet another exercise that we’re doing, I think, in Poland coming up here.
So we’re — when we talked about the fact that we were going to look for ways to make the training regime more aggressive and more — more comprehensive in Europe, we meant what we said and we continue to do that, but, no, I don’t have anything in particular to announce today.
Source: Department of Defense http://www.defense.gov/Transcripts/Transcript.aspx?TranscriptID=5496
Note: Admiral Kirby’s comments are very disturbing in so far as he is indicating that the United States is seeking ways to support the Ukrainian regime become “more aggressive”?
See related article: US Senators Push for Lethal Military Aid to Ukrainehttp://news.antiwar.com/2014/07/30/us-senators-push-for-lethal-military-aid-to-ukraine/
Again the United States is taking sides in a conflict it has no business involving itself in except in finding ways to promote a peaceful resolution to this evolving civil conflict. Since when is supporting one side or another in bloody civil war ever a good idea?
US Secretary of State John Kerry announced during his visit to Kiev last week that Washington is preparing a $1 billion loan for the coup-imposed government of Ukraine. Yet according to the US laws providing financial support to governments which came to power via a coup is strictly prohibited,