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U.S. Leads World in Support of Ukrainian Nationalist Government

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This week President Obama will meet with the Ukrainian Interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to discuss the situation in Crimea and U.S. and European support for the new government in Kiev. The Ukrainian Nationalist leade r also spoke at a U.N. security council meeting to discuss tensions.

"We extended our hand to Russia, but instead we got a barrel," he said, adding nevertheless that he felt the Russian Federation was ready to negotiate.  Calling for truth, he said history would be the judge, Nationalist Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk of Ukraine told the U.N. Security Council today.

The member nation of the G-7 called on Russia yesterday in a joint statement to de-escalate the conflict in Crimea and other parts of Ukraine, demanding immediate withdrawal of troops and garrisons to pre-crisis numbers and to  begin "direct discussions with the government in Ukraine."

Leaders around the world have said that any referendum coming from Crimea on its future status would not be viewed as valid, and demand that Russia immediately cease on in support of such a referendum.

Press Secretary Carney noted in comments Monday that the executive order signed by the president last week created flexible authorities that would be used where violations of Ukrainian sovereignty is involved.

U.S. and its NATO allies in the region are conducting military exercises in the Black Sea across from Crimea. 12 F-16s with 300 personnel will be arriving at central Lask air base in Poland to prepare for joint exercises.

These exercises are meant to remind the U.S.'s NATO allies that it is leading the pack while the E.U. acts more cautiously, with responses tamped down by its need for consensus from its member nations. The exercises are also meant to reassure NATO allies in the region of the U.S. commitment to defend them should Russia come knocking back on their doors.

"The scope of the operations were increased in response to Russia's actions in Crimea," said officials in Poland. 

The Ukrainian government has refused offers from the Russian Federation for a diplomatic solution. Most of the Ukrainian interim leadership comes from the far-right Nationalist and Ultra-Nationalist parties including the Neo-Fascist group Right Sector.

The Crimean Parliament has banned Right Sector activities in Crimea, condemning the organization as a neo-Nazi extremist group. A number of other nationalist groups involved with the Euro Maiden have also been banned.

"Statements by the Right Sector extremists are cause for serious concern. Its actions have led to escalations in violence in the Crimean Peninsula. Right Sector and Groups like them pose a serious security threat," said the Crimean Supreme Council.

"The assertions of lawlessness in Eastern Ukraine, of violence against ethnic Russians in Eastern Ukraine or in Crimea, simply is not true.  In fact, the only violence that has been documented have been the ones by the Russian military," Said Press Secretary Carney.

The meetings held this week were meant to secure greater support for the nationalist regime in Kiev, as well as to spell out the economic-aid package the U.S., E.U., and IMF would provide the fledgling government over the next two years.

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Cory Clark is a freelance photojournalist and writer focused on civil and human rights issues, social justice and politics. He is a regular contributor with Getty Images, AP and AFP. His work has appeared in, The Guardian, Fortune (more...)

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