Ukraine war: Biden pledges ‘advanced air defence systems’ after Putin’s ‘brutal’ offensive | World | News


US President Joe Biden has promised Ukraine state of the art air defence systems in response to Putin’s massive attack. In a phone call with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday he condemned Russia’s “senseless attacks”. In a statement made before the phone call, he said the strikes demonstrated the “utter brutality” of the Russian leader.

President Biden did not specify the types of systems that Ukraine would receive however, the United States has previously committed to giving Ukraine National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS).

These incredibly advanced systems have been used to protect US strategic targets including the White House and the US Capitol building.

The White House said in a statement: “[President Biden] expressed his condemnation of Russia’s missile strikes across Ukraine, including in Kyiv, and conveyed his condolences to the loved ones of those killed and injured in these senseless attacks.

“President Biden pledged to continue providing Ukraine with the support needed to defend itself, including advanced air defence systems.”

It added: “[Biden] also underscored his ongoing engagement with allies and partners to continue imposing costs on Russia, holding Russia accountable for its war crimes and atrocities, and providing Ukraine with security, economic, and humanitarian assistance.”

The US has provided more than $16.8 billion worth of security assistance to Ukraine since Russia invaded on February 24.

The strikes on Ukrainian cities came following a massive explosion on the Kerch bridge which connects the Crimean peninsula to mainland Russia.

The more than 11-mile long bridge cost billions of dollars to construct and was a pet project of Vladimir Putin – the strike likely enraged the Russian leader.

It symbolised the linking of Russia with Crimea, which was illegally annexed by Moscow in 2014.

Russia claims that Ukraine detonated a truck bomb on the bridge which collapsed part of the road bridge and damaged the adjacent train bridge.

Kyiv has not claimed responsibility for the attack but several Ukrainian leaders have lauded the move.

Moscow’s attacks on major Ukrainian cities are likely partially in response to pressure from hardliners at home to do more in attacking Ukraine.

Prominent military bloggers and Russian officials have been calling on more fierce action against Ukraine – this call reached a crescendo following the Kerch bridge attack.

The strikes seem to have placated some leaders inside Russia. Chechen Leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who has long pushed for more severe strikes against Ukraine, said he was “100 percent happy” with the war effort following the strikes.

Margarita Simonyan, the head of the state-funded RT television, welcomed the strikes claiming that Ukraine had crossed a red line by attacking the bridge in Crimea.

Ukrainian President Zelensky is set to address an emergency meeting of the G7 countries today. As the pace of the war speeds up, it is unclear whether Ukraine’s Western allies will expand and speed up their delivery of military aid.





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