Russian-backed forces commit blatant ceasefire violations & Zelensky goes to Washington

Russian-backed forces commit blatant ceasefire violations & Zelensky goes to Washington

The Joint Forces Operation in eastern Ukraine reported that between August 26th and September 1st, Russian-occupation forces committed 68 ceasefire violations, more than twice the amount report during the previous week. 2 Ukrainian soldiers were killed, and 15 wounded, as a result of these ceasefire violations.

On August 26th, the Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Defense Hanna Painter and a delegation from Latvia headed by the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Defense Baiba Bļodniece visited the Joint Forces area of operation in the Luhansk region to observe the situation on the line of contact and meet with the Luhansk Regional State Administration. The Latvian delegation handed over 8 tons of humanitarian cargo, which will be delivered by the Ukrainian National Forces to families in need in the area, and Bļodniece made a statement of the Republic of Latvia’s support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

This past week saw blatant ceasefire violations in Donbas on the part of Russian-backed forces, who fired at civilian infrastructure in the settlements of Avdiivka and May on August 28th. Russian-occupation troops also fired at the settlement of Krasnogorivka from the occupied Staromikhailovka with mortars and anti-tank cannons. Thankfully, no civilians were harmed, but private homes and infrastructure were damaged.

President Zelensky arrived in Washington, D.C. on August 31st on a working visit. That day, he met with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who signed the US-Ukraine Strategic Defense Framework. On September 1st, Zelensky met with President Biden in the White House for the first time. During their two-hour conversation, Biden reaffirmed the US commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and Euro-Atlantic aspirations. The two leaders released a joint statement on the US-Ukrainian strategic partnership that confirmed the US would provide a new $60 million security assistance package, as well as an additional $45 million in humanitarian assistance, to Ukraine this year.

Zelensky also met with representatives of the Ukrainian Caucus, as well as seven other invited guests – including Nadia and Robert McConnell of the US-Ukraine Foundation – in the Capitol following his meeting with Biden. He ended the day with a ribbon cutting ceremony in the newly leased Ukrainian House in Washington. The following day, Zelensky delivered a speech at Stanford University.