“We stand shoulder to shoulder in preserving our democracies. I mean that Ukraine Reform, increase transparency and achieve peace. “The partnership with the United States is of the utmost importance to Ukrainians,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter.
The White House confirmed that during the phone conversation, Biden assured Zelensky that the United States was unwavering in its support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity against years of Russian aggression. They also talked about reforms in Ukraine, fighting corruption, and joint action against the Coronavirus epidemic.
In the Donetsk Basin, the situation was recently exacerbated by the killing of four Ukrainian soldiers and the wounding of two on 26 March as a result of an attack by Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. The Pentagon, in agreement with Kiev, accused Russia of violating the ceasefire last summer.
Ruslan Homchak, Chief of Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, told a parliamentary session on Tuesday that soldiers belonging to the demining unit had been shot in the back by snipers. The Russians denied this, citing separatism. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday, citing the Donetsk secession, that Ukrainian soldiers had fallen victim to an explosion while searching a minefield.
However, at Tuesday’s parliament session, it was also reported that Russia had redeployed serious forces near the Ukrainian border, Bryansk and Voronezh regions, Crimea and Donetsk Basin, under the guise of the upcoming “West 2021” exercise. This is the reason why the European Command of the US Armed Forces ordered the highest level of readiness for its forces, Ukrainian news portal Pravda said, citing press reports.
The Pentagon is said to be fearful that Russia is preparing to ramp up its activities in Eastern Europe and the Arctic, in defiance of the new US administration. The Ukrainian news portal wrote that some observers say that Moscow is usually just “swords”, while others say that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans are “vague”, so there is already cause for concern.
Ukrainian Military Intelligence recently revealed that it has learned that Russia is preparing to extend the conflict to other regions of Ukraine. The reason would be to protect the dual Russian-Ukrainian citizenship living in Ukraine. Allegedly, the pro-Russian press and Russian embassies have already prepared how to report “enemy Ukrainian forces and Russian peace-keeping operations”.
Ukrainian Pravda said that the ambassadors of NATO countries held an extraordinary meeting in Brussels on Thursday regarding the escalating crisis in the Donetsk Basin.