Kerry will have an opening once he brokers a Middle East ceasefire agreement. The bear is on the loose at a golf course and is unavailable.
Ten days after Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot from the skies over Ukraine, the situation on the ground in Ukraine has gotten worse.
U.S. officials released satellite images today showing proof that Russian forces have been shelling eastern Ukraine from the Russian side of the border.
The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which released the civilian-taken satellite images Sunday, said they show visual evidence that Russia has been firing shells across the border at Ukrainian military forces. Officials also said the images show that Russia-backed separatists have used heavy artillery, provided by Russia, in attacks on Ukrainian forces from inside Ukraine.
US releases images alleging attacks on Ukraine from Russia, says self-propelled artillery only found in Russian units pic.twitter.com/yLEOU9AAy2
— cbsMcCormick (@cbsMcCormick) July 27, 2014
Russia has long denied it is actively participating in the shooting war between pro-Moscow separatists and the elected Ukrainian government. Since the downing of the Malaysian jet, the United States has been upping the ante and focusing on evidence showing direct Russian involvement.
Meanwhile, intense ground fighting near the Malaysian plane’s crash scene has halted Dutch investigators in their efforts to gather evidence. The battle just outside the key city of Donetsk is seen by many as a key turning point depending on who is able to command the city.
Government troops were engaged in a pitched battle with rebels on Saturday just outside the separatist bastion of Donetsk and plan to advance next into the city that has been at the heart of the pro-Russian insurgency.
If the army succeeds in retaking Horlivka, a city of almost 300,000 people where fighting was fierce Saturday, they will be within a few miles of Donetsk. Rebels have held sway there since the spring, ruling what they call the Donetsk People’s Republic. Cars created roadblocks out of town Saturday, and the railway station was packed with people desperate to board the next train out.
The military already has ousted rebels from 10 surrounding villages and towns over the past week and blocked roads into and out of Donetsk to prevent supplies from entering the city, according to Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Security and Defense Council.
“The next one will be Donetsk,” Lysenko said, making a bold prediction: “The city will be liberated.”