President Barack Obama, during his State of the Union address to the American Congress on Tuesday night, spoke about the situation in Ukraine. He advocated the use of diplomacy to uphold the principle that bigger nations cannot bully the small.
President Barack Obama. Photo Pete Souza, Official White House Photographer

President Obama said: "By opposing Russian aggression, and supporting Ukraine’s democracy, and reassuring our NATO allies, we were reinforcing our presence with frontline states.” Mr. Obama continued: "It was suggested that Mr. Putin’s aggression was a masterful display of strategy and strength. Well, today, America stands strong and united with our (NATO and EU) allies, while Russia is isolated with its economy in tatters."

On Wednesday, Jen Psaki, Spokesperson at the US State Department, referred to remarks made by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Davos and OSCE reports that more than 9,000 Russian soldiers are currently backing the pro-Russian rebels in the east.

Ms. Psaki said that although the State Department was still looking for confirmation of the figures, “there has been an increase in separatist violence, including renewed attacks on the Donetsk airport in recent days, and separatist seizures of more territory. We’ve also seen reports that Russia has moved two tactical battalions into Ukraine.”

She continued: “We can confirm that Russia continues to move tanks, armoured vehicles, trucks, artillery pieces, and other military equipment to deployment sites near the Russia-Ukraine border which serve as staging points before transporting military equipment to pro-Russia separatists.”

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