John McCain calls on Trump to provide defensive lethal assistance to Ukraine

"I must condemn the aggressive actions of Russia", Nikki Haley told the U.N. Security Council at her first public meeting since being confirmed last week as President Donald Trump's U.N. envoy.

Haley today said the USA wants to improve its relationship with Russia but "the dire situation in eastern Ukraine is one that demands clear and strong condemnation of Russian actions".

Dozens of fighters from Ukrainian security forces and Russia-backed rebel forces have been killed since conflict escalated near Avdiivka on January 29.

About 200 people have been evacuated from Avdiivka, almost half of them children, Ukraine's State Emergency Service said Friday.

CBS Radio, Entercom Merge To Remain Competitive
Financial terms of the deal, expected to close in the second half of this year, were not released. Changes could soon be coming to the ever-tempestuous Boston sports talk radio scene.

The Ukrainian military and Russian-backed separatists accuse each other of launching offensives in the region.

Haley's statements closely mirror those of her predecessor Samantha Power, who criticized at its inception the Russian operation in Ukraine as a "response to an imaginary threat".

The government reported at least two civilians were killed around the industrial town of Avdiivka, in the war-torn Donetsk region, which borders Russian Federation.

The US also said it would not lift sanctions against Russian Federation - as many in Kiev feared it would do under US President Donald Trump - until the Kremlin returned the annexed Crimean peninsula to Ukraine. "Russia's ongoing aggression in Ukraine is all part of a long-standing campaign to undermine the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies", Miss Kapture said in prepared remarks. "The sudden increase in fighting in eastern Ukraine has trapped thousands of civilians and has destroyed vital infrastructure". "The fighting must stop immediately. Russia should use its influence to disengage the Russian-backed separatists".

Senate committee approves nomination of Betsy DeVos for secretary of education
Democrats must channel all of that outrage in a persuasive direction if they are going to stop her confirmation before the Senate. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, said they remained uncertain if they will vote for her on the Senate floor.

At least nine civilians on both sides have been killed since Sunday, with many more injured. Salvos from multiple grenade launchers were heard during the night, according to the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, the US Treasury has announced exceptions to sanctions against Russia's intelligence agency the FSB, formerly known as the KGB.

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