U.S. Reiterates $18 Million Aid to Ukraine After 400-Man Border Attack

youtubeyoutubePro-Russian militants staged a predawn 400-man attack near Ukraine's eastern border today, prompting the U.S. government to reaffirm its support for the unstable nation.

The Associated Press (AP) reports on the battle, which took place at a border guard base and persisted into the afternoon:

Serhiy Astakhov, the spokesman for the border guard service, [said] that a preliminary assessment indicated that five rebels were killed and eight wounded in the attack on the walled compound on the western fringes of Luhansk, a major city not far from the Russian border. He also said seven servicemen were wounded, three seriously. ...

An AP reporter saw at least one dead rebel soldier about a kilometer (half-mile) away from the base. Fellow fighters approached and broke into tears as they viewed the body. One insurgent said the dead man was a leading rebel commander.

The militia was armed with rocket-propelled grenades. Whether or not they were part of a larger, coordinated offensive is unknown, but in another city, Sloviansk, rebels apparently laid landmines around power plants and in yet another, Donetsk, they kidnapped a local newspaper editor.

Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Derek Chollet said at a press conference today that the Luhansk attack is "a further example of the destabilizing activities that we believe are supported by Russia in the east." He reiterated at a press conference this morning that the U.S. has pledged $18 million toward "strengthening our long-term defense cooperation, especially in helping Ukraine build a highly effective armed force and strengthening its defense institutions." The State Department maintains that the funding, which was first announced in May, will only be spent on "non-lethal security assistance." According to the Kyiv Post, though, Chollet also hinted that the U.S. may provide "more aggressive help" to Ukraine after today's attack.

On Wednesday, President Obama will meet with President-Elect Petro Poroshenko, who has requested direct military aid to rebuff the forces.

For its part, Russia offered "humanitarian aid" to eastern Ukraine last week. The Ukrainian government rejected this and maintains that Russia is engaged in "undisguised aggression" against Ukraine. The situation increasingly looks like an all-out war. Rebels recently shot down a military helicopter, and although Russia officially denies it, some militants claim themselves to be part of a Chechen "savage unit" on official orders. One Russian official shrugged this off saying, "We can't control where our citizens go."

Here is a video of a fighter seemingly dragging himself to safety. Below is a video allegedly from the early hours of today's attack:

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  • sarcasmic||

    OT:

    'It's not just about turning up in a swimsuit and looking pretty': Organisers defend Miss England competition against allegations of sexism as finalists compete in the bikini round of pageant


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/fem.....geant.html
    Well, that's good because they don't look very pretty. Bunch of British butterfaces.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    This is the finest that England has to offer. Look on those faces, ye horndogs, and despair.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I was eating lunch.

  • GILMORE||

    ""Pro-Russian militants""

    Also known as 'Russians'

    When is this euphemism going to be dropped?

  • sarcasmic||

    I've never seen combat, but that video sounds more like a hippie drum circle than what I ever imagined combat would sound like.

  • GILMORE||

    hippie drum circles are far worse than combat. In combat, only the dead smell.

  • sarcasmic||

    Guys who have been out in the field for who knows how long without a shower don't smell?

  • Cytotoxic||

    They don't have a portable shower?

  • sarcasmic||

    "Hey! Could you guys stop shooting for a while so we can take a shower? Thanks!"

    derp

  • GILMORE||

    Let me rephrase =

    *When there's bullets flying past your head, you're too busy to notice how fucking bad everyone smells*

    drum circles, not so much.

    i stand by my original thesis that its better to be in combat than surrounded by hippies with percussion instruments.

  • sarcasmic||

    i stand by my original thesis that its better to be in combat than surrounded by hippies with percussion instruments.

    I encountered one of the latter at a Phish concert. It was way too fucking loud for me to get close enough to take a whiff, but it didn't appear to be at all dangerous.

  • GILMORE||

    "I encountered one of the latter at a Phish concert"

    This by itself suggests you are a person in possession of questionable judgement

  • sarcasmic||

    A coworker's ride bailed out on him like a day before the Lemonwheel festival, and he said he's give me a ticket if I gave him a ride. So I got my shifts covered and went. It was fun. The band is phenomenal live. Incredibly talented musicians. But by Monday morning I was ready to go. One thing that saddened me a bit was the trash. Our (my I should say, since my coworker had no interest in cleaning up) camp site was a small patch of green in a sea of trash. Hippies are disgusting creatures.

  • GILMORE||

    Its ok, I know.

    Been there, done that, before it was cool, etc.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    Location deep in the countryside? --- Check

    Ominous, windowless main building? --- Check

    High walls surrounding compound? --- Check

    Filled with desperate Eastern Europeans? --- Check

    Clearly, this location will be an excellent place to host the next season of Warty's Next Top Sex Slave.

  • GILMORE||

    I was convinced you were going to say,

    "Clearly Tom Clancy's 'Rainbow 6' series has run out of ideas entirely"

  • R C Dean||

    These "rebels" seem extraordinarily well-supplied with military-grade stuff (land mines? rocket launchers?), and extraordinarily well-lead (a 400-man attack?).

    Since we all know the Russians aren't involved (because if they were, the media would report it, right?), they must be frickin' military geniuses.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The Ukrainian border guards have caught multiple trucks loaded with ammo crossing the border already.

  • R C Dean||

    One Russian official shrugged this off saying, "We can't control where our citizens go."

    I'm assuming he burst out laughing after saying this.

  • GILMORE||

    Funny how this was the one thing the Soviet state could have honestly claimed it did *very well*

  • Cytotoxic||

    There was some kind of internal coup amongst the rebel ranks over the weekend. Chechens or other outsiders took charge of the locals. Poroshenko needs to hurry up and kill these people already.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    Finally. Some professionals.

  • Swiss Servator, CH yeah!||

    Well, if it is Chechens, they might just want the gear, and off to attack Russia.... say, that could be a Ukrainian counter move.

    DEAR CHECHENS - COME TO GET BOLSHOI MILITARY EQUIPMENTS, DA?

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