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Vice President Biden in Ukraine promising support
UKRAINE -- (ABC) Vice President Joe Biden is in Ukraine promising US support for that nation amid its crisis with Russia.
His visit comes at a critical time.
It's just days after a tenuous international agreement was reached to de-escalate violence in Eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russia insurgents oppose the government in Kiev.
Biden promised financial support, assistance in reducing Ukraine's dependence's on Russian energy sources, and non-lethal aid for security forces.
ABC's Alex Marquardt is in the Eastern Ukraine with more.
It is the strongest show yet of American support for Ukraine's new government.
Vice President Joe Biden in Kiev today meeting with Ukraine's acting prime minister announcing a 50 million dollar aid package.
"You face very daunting problems and some might say humiliating threats that are taken place indirectly. But the opportunity to generate a United Ukraine and getting it right, is within your grasp.
Biden also accused [[neighboring]]-Russia of fueling the pro-Russian violence that has swept Eastern Ukraine.
Across the region, governments, buildings even towns are now under the control of pro-Russia militiamen.
Highly professional units like these have been accused of being Russian forces.
The Ukrainian government has circulated these photos it says are of Russian troops.
Alleging that this bearded man in Russia is the same as this bearded man in Ukraine and that these men with their faces circled are a Russian sabotage unit.
"There's a strong connection between Russia and the armed militants that we've seen in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea and other places. So this is more just further photographic evidence of that."
But we've met those same men who told us they're Ukrainian and spoke with local accents.
And today, a spokesman for the militia controlling the town of Sloviansk denied any Russian presence
These are locals he told us as he looked at the photos where'd you get these, they are Russians.
"Ukraine's president told [[Mr.]] Biden that because of the actions of Russia and the militias here, the agreement made last week in Geneva that illegal armed groups like these put down their weapons and leave those buildings has been dashed deepening this crisis.
Alex Marquardt, ABC News, in Sloviansk, Eastern Ukraine."