KIEV, Ukraine, April 29 (UPI) -- U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt said Tuesday that the U.S. would respond immediately if Russia were to invade Ukraine.
Speaking at a press conference in Kiev on Tuesday, the ambassador said that Russian troop movements into Ukraine would constitute a serious escalation. According to the Kyiv Post, the U.S. would respond immediately and that "such a scenario would lead to tragic consequences."
The ambassador's comments followed an escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine, including the abduction and beating of OSCE monitors, the shooting of the mayor of Kharkiv, and an attack Monday evening on a peaceful demonstration of pro-government supporters in Donetsk.
"This is terrorism, pure and simple," the U.S. Embassy in Kiev declared Tuesday. "We support the Ukrainian Government’s efforts to contain this threat and defend the lives and safety of its citizens. In addition, we call on all who hold sway with these armed groups, including the Russian Federation, to arrange for an immediate cessation of all violent acts and the release of all hostages."