Biden Condemns Russian Attack on Ukraine, Orders More Troops to Europe

President Joe Biden condemned Russia’s attack on Ukraine and has imposed sanctions on the renegade nation and its leaders.

The president has also authorized the deployment of more U.S. troops from the United States to Europe, to reassure NATO allies of America’s commitment to their collective defense.

“The Russian military has begun a brutal assault on the people of Ukraine without provocation, without justification, without necessity,” the president said during a White House statement today. “This is a premeditated attack. Vladimir Putin has been planning this for months.”

Biden said the Russian leader ordered more than 175,000 troops that he had amassed along Russia’s border with Ukraine and inside Russian ally Belarus to strike.

Biden called the Russian invasion a “needless conflict” and denounced the Russian leader for turning away from dialogue and diplomacy to avoid bloodshed. “For weeks—for weeks—we have been warning that this would happen,” Biden said. “And now it’s unfolding largely as we predicted.”

The president laid the blame for this conflict at the feet of the Russian leader. “Putin is the aggressor,” he said. “Putin chose this war, and now he and his country will bear the consequences.”

In addition to outlining a series of sanctions on Russia and its leaders, Biden is also ensuring the defense of NATO’s frontline states: the Baltic Republics, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. “Tomorrow, NATO will convene a summit [and] will be there to bring together the leaders of 30 allied nations and close partners to affirm our solidarity, and to map out the next steps we will take to further strengthen all aspects of our NATO alliance,” he said.

Biden stressed that American forces will not fight in Ukraine. “Our forces are not and will not be engaged in a conflict with Russia in Ukraine,” he said. “Our forces are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine, but to defend our NATO allies and reassure those allies in East. As I made crystal clear, the United States will defend every inch of NATO territory with a full force of American power.”

The president said NATO is united and more determined than ever. “There is no doubt — no doubt — that the United States and every NATO ally will meet our Article Five commitments, which says an attack on one is an attack on all,” he said.

Over the past few weeks, Biden has ordered thousands of American troops to Europe to defend NATO and reassure allies. He has authorized the shifting of troops within U.S. European Command to the Baltic Republics, Poland, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria.

“Now, I’m authorizing additional U.S. force capabilities to deploy to Germany as part of NATO’s response, including some the U.S. based forces that the Department of Defense placed on standby weeks ago,” the president said.

He said he is in constant contact with Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “should it become necessary to protect our NATO allies and support the greatest military alliance in the history of the world, NATO.”

-Austin Orders Fort Stewart Armored Brigade Combat Team to Europe 

President Joe Biden has directed that 7,000 U.S. service members be deployed to Germany to enhance deterrence of Russia.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III has ordered the deployment of those 7,000 service members. The major unit in this tranche of troops is the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia, said a senior defense official speaking on background.

Enabling units will also deploy. The troops will be going to Germany “to reassure NATO allies, deter Russian aggression and to be prepared to support a range of other requirements in the region,” the official said.

This means some 12,000 U.S. troops, total, have deployed or been ordered to deploy to Europe from the United States and another 2,000 troops in Europe who have moved closer to NATO’s eastern flank. They join 80,000 U.S. service members based in Europe. Adding in the service members of NATO members on the continent, this brings the number to more than 2 million, the official said.

Some of the U.S. troops deploying are from the group Austin put on a heightened state of readiness in January, the official said.

The troops will deploy to Germany initially, the official said. They could be repositioned to other NATO countries as needed. “We expect them to depart [the United States] in coming days,” the official said.

Russian forces continue to attack in Ukraine at the major population centers of Kyiv – the capital – and Kharkiv, in the eastern part of the country. The official said that Ukrainian units are fighting the Russian invasion, but there is no way to categorize their resistance.

Russia has launched at least 160 short-range, medium-range and cruise missiles into Ukraine from land, sea and air, the official said, and more Russian troops have entered Ukraine. The missiles are aimed at military bases and airfields around Kharkiv and Kyiv. Again, there is no way to verify how accurate they are or what casualties they are causing.

-Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s Call with Ukraine’s Minister of Defence Oleksii Reznikov

Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart, Minister of Defence Oleksii Reznikov, regarding Russia’s unfounded and unprovoked war against Ukraine. Secretary Austin made clear that the United States’ support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is unwavering and that the United States will continue to provide defensive assistance to Ukraine. Secretary Austin and Minister Reznikov committed to continuing their close coordination during this conflict that Russia alone has created.

Εμβάθυνση: Οι τελευταίες εξελίξεις της κρίσης Ουκρανίας-Ρωσίας

– Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III’s Calls With NATO Ally Counterparts

Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke today with fifteen of his NATO Ally and European counterparts regarding Russia’s unfounded and unprovoked war against Ukraine.

The Secretary spoke individually with Defense Ministers from Canada and Turkey. He also convened a virtual European Quint meeting with his counterparts from France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

This afternoon, Secretary Austin also participated for the first time in a secure teleconference with the counterparts from the Bucharest Nine (B-9) Countries – Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.

Secretary Austin made clear that the United States stands united with our Allies and partners to support Ukraine and to deter aggression against NATO, while avoiding conflict with Russia. The United States’ commitment to defending NATO territory is ironclad and the United States will continue to bolster our posture to better defend our NATO Allies.

The Secretary conveyed that in the face of Russian aggression, the United States has deployed an additional 15,000 forces in recent days and weeks and now has more than 90,000 U.S. service members in Europe. We have repositioned other forces within Europe to assure our Allies and deter Russian aggression against NATO.

The Secretary lauded the unifying steps taken at NATO earlier today and commended Allies for the steps they have taken to bolster NATO’s Eastern Flank and to provide security assistance to Ukraine.  He asked NATO Allies to consider additional contributions to strengthen NATO’s defensive posture and bolster Ukraine’s capacity to defend itself in the face of Russian aggression.

Secretary Austin further called on Allies to maintain resolve in imposing costs on Russia for its reckless war of choice and flagrant violation of international law. The Secretary stated that despite Russia’s best attempts to divide us, the United States and its NATO Allies remain united and stronger together.

Separately, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Dr. Colin Kahl, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Dr. Celeste Wallander, and other senior OSD officials conducted high-level consultations with over a dozen other Allies and partners to reiterate similar themes.


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