More than 10,000 people have died since the eastern Ukraine conflict erupted in April 2014, when Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula. The fighting has displaced more than 1.6 million people. Yet, since Trump’s election, concern about this conflict has vanished. It helps that Trump is an admirer of Russian President Putin, and that Russian interference in America’s election probably gave Trump the victory.
Western governments accuse Russia of helping the rebels in the region with regular troops and heavy weapons. Despite strong evidence to the contrary, Moscow denies that, while admitting that Russian “volunteers” are helping the rebels. Trump says he believes Putin.
This is nothing short of collaboration with a dictator, and American people should be alarmed. Yet, the Republican dominated Congress does nothing, and follows the party line in lock-step, agreeing with policies that just a few months ago would have been considered outrageous.
The US military has said thousands of Russian troops have been operating in eastern Ukraine since the beginning of the crisis.
The Russian government recently deployed thousands more armored vehicles and troops into Ukraine to support separatist rebels in the war-torn country’s eastern region, Ukraine’s top defense official says, despite repeated assertions from Moscow of minimal military involvement there. In addition, Russia has deployed artillery, mortars, light weapons and missile systems, like the Sa-11 that reportedly shot down a Malaysian airliner in 2015.
“It’s a real army. They have continuous inflow of munitions,” said Pavlo Klimkin, Ukrainian defense minister.