Speed Reads

Crisis in Ukraine

Defense Sec. nominee Ashton Carter backs arming Ukraine

Ashton Carter, President Obama's nominee to replace Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, on Wednesday endorsed the idea of offering lethal assistance to Ukraine.

"We need to support the Ukrainians in defending themselves," Carter said in his confirmation hearing, adding that he was "very much inclined" to arm Ukrainian troops in their conflict with pro-Russian rebels.

The Obama administration has so far provided Ukraine only with non-lethal assistance, though it signaled this week it would consider sending Kiev weapons as well.