The United Nations Security Council will meet to discuss the mounting crisis in Ukraine at 2 p.m. EDT Thursday. The Russian Federation, a permanent member of the Security Council, is accused of invading neighboring Ukraine and escalating violence between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian government in eastern Ukraine.

UPDATE 4:22 p.m. EDT: U.S. President Barack Obama will meet with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko next month, the Associated Press said. Russia's defense ministry spoke out via Russian media:

UPDATE 3:32 p.m. EDT: American Ambassador to the U.N.: "... Russia has to stop lying and has to stop fueling this conflict."

Read Ambassador Powers' full speech here.

UPDATE 3:15 p.m. EDT: British Ambassador to the U.N. and Security Council President Sir Mark Lyall Grant: Russian Spetsnaz [Special Forces] have been operating in Ukraine for "several months," cites satellite imagery, intercepted radio communications.

"It is simply not credible for Russia to keep claiming these soldiers are in Ukraine by accident or on holiday," Grant said.

"Russia can no longer pretend it is not a direct participant in this conflict," Grant said. "... indeed this conflict would no longer exist without Russia's direct involvement."

UPDATE 3:06 p.m. EDT: Russian Ambassador to the U.N. Vitaly Churkin to the U.S.: "Stop interfering in the affairs of sovereign nations."


Ukraine requested the emergency meeting as separatists, reportedly backed by Russian regular military units, made a counteroffensive move along the Sea of Azov. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said, “Columns of heavy artillery, huge loads of arms and regular Russian servicemen” crossed the border and are fighting alongside separatists. NATO released images Thursday of Russian heavy weapons operating in Ukrainian territory.

Poroshenko called for calm and said “panic is the same weapon as tanks, APCs [armored personnel carriers] and AK rifles. It destabilizes the situation in the country without advancing inland.”

The escalation came just two days after Poroshenko shook hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a multilateral conference in Minsk, Belarus. The meeting held promise for an end to hostilities in Ukraine, but those hopes were shattered with increased destabilization in the east. At least 2,500 people have been killed in the fighting, including 300 passengers aboard Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 when it was shot down over separatist-held territory on July 17.

You can also watch via C-SPAN here, which has closed captioning services.