KIEV, Ukraine — Vice President Joe Biden today launched a high-profile visit to demonstrate the U.S. commitment to Ukraine and to push for urgent implementation of an international agreement aimed at de-escalating tensions even as violence continues.
The State Department said photographs show that some of the forces in eastern Ukraine are Russian special forces
Biden plans to meet Tuesday with government leaders who took over after pro-Russia Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted in February following months of protests. He will make the two-day visit to the capital city to send a high-level signal of support for reform efforts being pushed the new government.
Biden will hold talks with Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Oleksandr Turchynov, the acting Ukrainian prime minister and president. He also is scheduled to meet with legislators from across the country and democracy activists before returning to Washington Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, the State Department said photographs available from social media and other sites show Russia has sent forces into eastern Ukraine. The alleged “concerned citizens” who want more autonomy in eastern Ukraine are dressed the same and are carrying the same kind of RPG-30 rocket launchers that are issued to Russian army troops.
There was no way to immediately tell if the descriptions of photographs were legitimate or to independently confirm them.