In comments marking the beginning of Ukraine’s “peace talks,” which the opposition weren’t allowed to attend, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland called for efforts to stop the “terror” ongoing in the separatist region.
Ukraine’s interim government has called the protesters in the east “terrorists” since before their military offensive against them even began, but this is the first time a US official has described them thusly.
Nuland says she wants to see a “de-escalation” in the east, which she defined as a unilateral ouster of the separatist protesters from all government buildings and a “demilitarization” of the area. The White House has endorsed the interim Ukraine government’s attacks against eastern cities, which officials described as aiming to “liquidate” the protesters.
White House officials also downplayed warnings that the fighting in the east could escalate into a civil war, saying they believe the interim government has things well in hand. They also defended keeping the protesters out of the peace talks, declaring they “literally have blood on their hands.”