Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, pulled no punches at an emergency meeting Thursday following newly released NATO satellite images showing Russian combat troops and military equipment in southeastern Ukraine, The Hill
"At every step, Russia has come before this Council to say everything except the truth," Power said. "It has manipulated. It has obfuscated. It has outright lied. So we have learned to measure Russia by its actions and not by its words. In last 48 hours, Russia's actions have spoken volumes"
According to the National Journal
, the U.N. Security Council has met 24 times this year just to discuss Ukraine, which has now been invaded in the nation’s eastern portion, a maneuver Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has declared a “Russian invasion.”
Though there has been no official decision announced on what steps the U.S. might take, Power said something must be done.
"If unchecked, the damage that Russia’s blatant disregard for the international order poses is much, much greater," she said. "How can we tell those countries that border Russia that their peace and sovereignty is guaranteed, if we do not make our message heard on Ukraine?"
President Barack Obama won’t call Russia’s actions an “invasion,” saying instead that “it’s a continuation of what’s been taking place for months now," ABC News
A spokesman for the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense told ABC News that Russia’s latest move signals “proof beyond any doubt that Russian troops are now directly involved in the fighting.”
Should Russia gain control of the newly invaded territory, it could provide a “strategic gateway town on the road to the heavily militarized Crimean peninsula,” according to the Los Angeles Times
, which characterized Russia’s actions as a “brazen display of support for pro-Russia separatists fighting Ukrainian government troops.”
The Russians’ actions, according to a Ukrainian anti-terrorist command official who spoke with ABC News, indicates “long-term strategic planning.”
Since April, more than 2,200 people have been killed in the fighting that broke out in eastern Ukraine following Russia’s annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, according to a U.N. report. The number of reported dead does not include the 298 people shot down in a commercial Malaysian airliner flying over rebel-held territory in July.
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