FILE – In this Friday, March 5, 2021 file photo, a Ukrainian serviceman on guard with a machine gun in his shelter near the front-line town of Krasnohorivka, eastern Ukraine. Ukraine’s military said Tuesday, April 6, 2021 that two of its soldiers were killed within 24 hours in the country’s east, where Ukrainian forces have been fighting Russian-backed separatists since 2014. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka, File)
UPDATED 4:00 PM PT – Sunday, April 11, 2021
Ukraine’s military said one soldier has been killed and another has been wounded as a result of artillery fire by Russian-backed militants.
The latest attack brought the total number of Ukranian soldiers killed by Russian-backed forces in Crimea to 27 this year alone. Fighting in Crimea has taken place since 2014, when Russia violated the Budapest Memorandum and invaded Crimea, which is recognized by the United Nations as sovereign territory of Ukraine.
“As we speak right now, I have to tell you we have real concerns about Russia’s actions on the border of Ukraine,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated. “There are more Russian forces massed on the border right now than at any time since 2014.”
Russia signed the agreement along with the United States, promising military protection of Ukraine so long as Ukraine never pursued nuclear weapons, which they upheld.
Critics argued the Obama administration could have done more to hold up it’s end of the agreement by providing more than basic humanitarian aide to Ukrainians.
President Trump notably gave Javelin missiles to the country as a way to defend itself against Russian-backed forces.