Tensions between the United States and Russia over Ukraine are continuing to rise. NATO has released satellite images showing Russian fighter jets and tanks near the Ukrainian border, where it says as many as 40,000 Russian troops have massed. Russia, meanwhile, has warned it could cut off natural gas supplies to Ukraine if the government does not pay its debts, a move that could impact the gas supply to Europe. Speaking before a Senate panel Thursday, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, the top U.S. diplomat for Europe, said the United States has launched a “truth-telling campaign” on Ukraine.
Victoria Nuland: “One cannot match the kind of money and effort in a closed society that Russia is putting into this, but we can certainly help our friends and partners debunk lies, get the straight story out. So we have redirected a great amount of public diplomacy funds to mounting our own truth-telling campaign.”
Nuland was caught on tape earlier this year favoring certain officials to lead the new Ukrainian government, before President Viktor Yanukoych was ousted in a coup. Her apparent favorite, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, is now interim prime minister. Yatsenyuk is in Yanukovych’s hometown of Donetsk today in a bid to ease tensions with pro-Russian demonstrators who have occupied a government building.