The Latest in Ukraine in 19 Photos: Elections, Violence in the East, and Obama Meets the New President

With casualties still piling up in the East, the Maidan movement debates its next phase and Obama pledges $1 billion to help European nations fend off Russia.


Following last month’s presidential elections in Ukraine, president-elect Petro Poroshenko vowed to curb the pro-Russian insurgency in the country’s eastern region. But violence persists: Rebels attacked a border guard camp near Luhansk, and used a rocket to take down a Ukrainian troop helicopter, killing 14 military personnel.

With the battle for control of Eastern Ukraine waging on, President Obama arrived in Poland for a four-day trip intended to reassure Europe of US support. He met with Poroshenko, and also proposed the formation of a $1 billion security fund to protect US allies in Europe from further Crimea-esque expansion efforts by Russia. Below, some photos take you through this week’s developments in the Ukraine conflict: (WARNING: Some graphic images)

US President Barack Obama meets with Ukraine president-elect Petro Poroshenko in Warsaw, Poland, on Wednesday, June 4. Charles Dharapak/AP Photo
 

A woman thanks a member of the Vostok Battalion. Earlier, the battalion came to Lenin Square in Donetsk to celebrate the area’s boycott of the election by firing shots into the air. Rex Features/AP Photo
 

Ukrainian soldiers take a rest at a checkpoint outside Slovyansk, Ukraine, on Thursday, May 29. Efrem Lukatsky/AP Photo
 

Dismantling barricades in the city of Donetsk after members of the Vostok Battalion cleared out the regional administration building, where activists were running the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk. Sandro Maddalena/NurPhoto/Sipa USA/AP Photo
 

Pro-Russians in Donetsk, Ukraine hold a mock presidential election in May, choosing which candidate to kill by depositing “ballots” into a box labeled “garbage can.” Janos Chiala/NurPhoto/ZUMA Press
 

A woman casts her ballot at a polling station during presidential and mayoral elections in Kiev on Sunday, May, 25. Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo
 

Vitali Klitschko, Kiev’s new mayor, speaks with Euromaidan activists at Kiev’s city council about plans for tidying up the city and barricades. Rex Features/AP Photo
 

Armed militiamen from the pro-Russian Vostok Battalion in Donetsk. Janos Chiala/NurPhoto/Sipa USA/AP Photo
 

A jacket belonging to a member of the Vostok Battalion hangs in Donetsk’s regional administration building after the battalion ousted the activists occupying the building. Sandro Maddalena/NurPhoto/Sipa USA/AP Photo
 

Black smoke rises from a shot down Ukrainian army helicopter outside Slovyansk, Ukraine, on May 29. Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP Photo
 

The bodies of pro-Russian gunmen killed in clashes with Ukrainian government forces around the Donetsk airport at the city morgue, which received at least 30 bodies. Konstantin Sazonchik/ITAR-TASS/ZUMA Press
 

Ukrainian president-elect Petro Poroshenko during a press conference in Kiev. Efrem Lukatsky/AP Photo
 

The Navy’s USS Vella Gulf takes a part in a peacekeeping mission in the Black Sea, which borders both Russia and Ukraine. Rex Features/AP Photo
 

Empty coffins are loaded into a refrigerated truck in Donetsk, Ukraine, on May 29. The coffins will be used to send the bodies of pro-Russian fighters killed at the Donetsk airport to Russia. Jan A. Nicolas/DPA/ZUMA Press
 

Volunteers pose with a Ukrainian national flag on June 3 as they join the Azov Battalion. It reads “liberty or death.” Maxim Nikitin/ITAR-TASS/ZUMA Press
 

Leaders of Donetsk’s territorial defense battalion, ”Donbas,” recruit fighters in Kiev. Sergii Kharchenko/NurPhoto/ZUMA Press
 

A rally in Kiev’s Independence Square on June 1, intended to address the future of Maidan. Maxim Nikitin/ITAR-TASS/ZUMA Press
 

A Pro-Russian rebel fires at Ukrainian troop positions from the top level of an apartment building during clashes on the outskirts of Luhansk on June 2. Vadim Ghirda/AP Photo
 

As Ukrainian troops launch an offensive against pro-Russian insurgents in Slovyansk on June 3, city residents seek refuge in an underground bomb shelter. Vadim Ghirda/AP Photo

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.