Ukrainian president asks US for military aid
WASHINGTON (AP) — The president of Ukraine is asking the U.S. to give his soldiers lethal military equipment in its battle against Russian-backed separatists, saying that one cannot win the war or keep the peace with blankets and night vision goggles.
President Barack Obama so far has resisted Ukraine’s request for lethal assistance. The U.S. has provided about $60 million in nonlethal aid.
President Petro Poroshenko spoke Thursday to a joint meeting of Congress.
Ukraine and the separatists are battling for control of eastern Ukrainian cities on Russia’s border. The Ukrainian parliament passed a law granting the rebel strongholds greater autonomy. Rebel leaders insist on full independence from Ukraine.
The crisis followed Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, which Poroshenko says was one of the most “cynical acts of treachery in modern history.”