US special forces have been committing suicide at record levels for the last two years, the head of the US Special Operations Command (SOCom) admitted in a speech on Thursday. He blamed the high numbers on the length and difficulty of combat.
Kiev has promised to let the regions decide on the status of any languages on their own, calling for “peace and unity.” Troops remain in eastern Ukraine, although the military operation has been rendered “inactive.”
Several Ukrainian politicians have announced the set-up of new military units for coping with the unrest in the country’s East. And one of them suggested bounty-payouts for giving up arms and handing in ‘mercenaries.’
Despite calls for a peaceful dialogue in the document on Ukraine adopted in Geneva, the coup-imposed Ukrainian Foreign Minister said it will not affect the “anti-terrorist” operation in the East of the country and the troops will remain there.
Fresh forces, particularly EU and UN troops, are to be sent to stop the ongoing sectarian violence in the Central African Republic, although the problems they are being sent to solve are too deep-rooted to hope for any significant improvements.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has acknowledged that Russian troops were present in Crimea before the referendum and argued that was necessary to let Crimeans make the choice on the future of the region.
“This is nonsense, there are no Russian troops in the east of Ukraine,” Vladimir Putin said at an annual Q&A session, adding that the Kiev government should talk to the local residents to tackle the problem, not send in tanks to deal with it.
Dozens of army troops sent to the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk for an “anti-terrorist operation” refused to follow orders and surrendered their weapons and armored vehicles. Some troops openly voiced support for the eastern Ukrainians.
There is no large Russian military presence in East Ukraine, head of EU intelligence, Commodore Georgij Alafuzoff, has said. The spy chief has dismissed multiple accusations from the West alleging Russian involvement in the unrest in the region.
The interim president of Ukraine Turchinov wants to beat the Russians into intervening and provoke war between NATO and Russia, as it’s the only reason he can hold power, foreign affairs analyst Daniel Patrick Welch told RT.