The Russian-backed president of a separatist region in Ukraine was wounded on Saturday in an assassination attempt, highlighting rising violence in the country’s east, The New York Times reports (HT: FPI). Crimean Tatar activists have reported armed checkpoints being erected at scattered sites around the Russian-occupied peninsula, and unusually large concentrations of Russian hardware in northern regions, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty adds.
Meanwhile, pro-Ukraine activists are concerned that political shifts in the US could undermine support for the country’s democratic reforms.
Melinda Haring of the Atlantic Council, a Washington, DC, think tank, says “it’s anyone’s guess” what a change in administration would do regarding Ukraine and Russia, and that perhaps it might not even back she told NPR:
Rachel Hoff, a national security analyst with the American Action Forum, believes that a Trump administration would refuse to send lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine.
“This puts Trump out of step certainly with Republican leadership but I would also say mainstream conservative foreign policy or national security opinion,” Hoff said.
Both Haring and Hoff are former Penn Kemble fellows at the National Endowment for Democracy, the Washington-based democracy assistance group.