One hot topic in Washington this week is whether the Barack Obama administration will start supplying weapons to the Ukrainian military for its fight against Russian-backed separatists in the country's east.

Until now the aid from the US has been of the "non-lethal" variety: body armor, first aid kits, night vision goggles. 
 
White House officials have been beating back questions about whether the calculus has changed as the separatists press the attack. 
 
But soon-to-be Defence Secretary Ashton Carter made public his view on the matter during his confirmation hearing on Wednesday. Asked if he believed the US should be sending arms to Ukraine, Carter said, "I very much incline in that direction."

Carter went on to say the specific types of weapons were still to be determined, but the aid would indeed be deadly: "I haven't conferred with our military leaders or Ukrainian leaders, but I incline in the direction of providing them with arms, including to get to what I'm sure your question is, lethal arms."

Source: Al Jazeera