Developments in Brussels and Ukraine
“NATO has never been more united.”
NATO leaders conducted an unprecedented emergency summit meeting on the one-month anniversary of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. After meeting with NATO leaders, President Biden forcefully declared, “NATO has never been more united.” Biden announced that the United States will contribute to the growing refugee crisis by providing over $1 billion dollars in humanitarian assistance and by admitting 100,000 Ukrainian refugees to the United States. The President also announced a new round of sanctions directed at over 400 Russian politicians, oligarchs, and defense companies.
Show of Strength
In a show of strength and unity, NATO commanders assigned battle groups to bolster defenses in Romania, Hungry, Bulgaria, and Slovakia. In addition, American soldiers joined Polish forces in joint exercises near the Polish-Belarus border. The show of force sent a clear signal to Putin that the West is prepared to defend, “every square inch of NATO territory.”
But what about chemical weapons?
The United States continued to warn that Putin may resort to using chemical weapons. For example, a chemical attack in Kyiv could force the Zelensky government to flee the capital. Although he did not offer a specific response, President Biden stated that a chemical attack “would trigger a response in kind. The nature of the response would depend upon the nature of the use.”
Ukraine Strikes Back
Ukrainian forces struck back by sinking a large Russian cargo ship near the besieged city of Mariupol. In addition, a fierce Ukrainian counterattack west of Kyiv appears to be compelling Russian forces to retreat. Military analysts point out that if they are successful, Ukrainian forces could encircle and inflict a humiliating defeat on the Russian invaders.
“People matter. Freedom matters. Peace matters. Ukraine matters.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a dramatic video address to the NATO leaders. The besieged Ukrainian leader urged NATO to send more weapons to his valiant but still outgunned and outmanned forces. He concluded by calling upon the people around the world to show their support for Ukraine by participating in peaceful demonstrations: “Come to your squares, your streets. Make yourself visible and heard. Say that people matter. Freedom matters. Peace matters. Ukraine matters.”
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