(KIEV, Ukraine) — Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko cancelled a trip to Turkey on Thursday, citing the ongoing “Russian invasion,” prompting a United Nations Security Council meeting.
Heavy fighting was reported in the southeastern Ukrainian town of Novoazovsk Thursday as pro-Russian rebels allegedly opened up a new military front. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk called for the U.N. Security Council meeting, noting the “growing military threat from Russia,” and claiming that “Putin started a war in Europe.”
The U.N. Security Council expressed outrage at the latest actions by Russia. In a statement, the spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the international community “cannot allow the situation to escalate further, nor can a continuation be allowed of the violence and destruction that the conflict has wrought in eastern Ukraine.”
The U.S. ambassador for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe released a harsh statement on Thursday as well, calling the crisis “man-made” and blaming the Kremlin for showing “disregard for international law.”
Sens. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, called the latest tensions a “military invasion” in a statement. Calling the latest actions anything else, they said, “is to inhabit President Putin’s Orwellian universe.”
“This is a moment to speak and act with clarity,” the senators said, “a sovereign nation in the heart of Europe is being invaded by its larger neighbor. This runs completely contrary to the civilized world that America and our partners have sought to build since World War II.”
Also on Thursday, President Obama spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the situation in Ukraine. According to a readout of the call, the two agreed that Russia is to blame for the latest violence. They also agreed that the U.S. and the European Union must consider additional sanctions while working towards a diplomatic solution.
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Kareem Khadder, CNN
Catherine E. Shoichet, Max Blau and Steve Almasy, CNN
Lorenzo D'Agostino and Hilary Clarke, CNN