Ukraine: US considerds military help for Kiev as separatists plan to mobilise army

Ukraine: US considers military help for Kiev as separatists plan to mobilise army (Source high-stakes poker game over east Ukraine continued on Monday, with US officials floating the idea of sending lethal military assistance to the government in Kiev, while Russia-backed separatists announced a plan to mobilize a 100,000-strong army. Lt Col Vanessa Hillman, a Pentagon spokesperson, said the administration’s focus remains on pursuing a solution through diplomatic means, but added: “We are always evaluating other options that will help create space for a negotiated solution to the crisis.” Hillman said the administration continues to assess how best to support Ukraine while declining to discuss what she called the details of internal policy discussions. A senior administration official told the Associated Press on Monday that President Barack Obama is reconsidering sending lethal assistance to Ukraine, but remains wary of the risks of provoking a proxy war between the US and Russia. Despite an influx of heavy weaponry from Russia to the separatists, the Obama administration has balked at a proportionate increase to the Ukrainian government, for fear of provoking an even more aggressive Russian response. The $118m worth of aid the US military has so far committed to sending Kiev’s military and border guard includes night-vision goggles, personal body armour and field medicine kits. About a third of that total has arrived, Hillman said. However, there is frustration in the west at the failure to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict. The latest round of peace talks in Minsk over the weekend failed to get off the ground, with the rebel leadership keen to renegotiate the terms of a ceasefire agreed in September.