As the war in Ukraine enters its second month and Russia continues to flex its muscles with threats of chemical and nuclear warfare, President Joe Biden is in Brussels to meet with world leaders for an emergency NATO summit. These Western allies will rally behind Kyiv and plan to brand new sanctions against Russia due to their continued aggression that has become the biggest conflict in Europe since World War II.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, has pleaded for more military aid for his suffering country while giving a virtual speech to NATO via a video link. The president represents with passion his people’s brave defense and Russia’s arrogant advance.
President Biden and these NATO allies will not only talk about aid for Ukraine and sanctions against Russia, but they will also discuss new moves to increase troops on NATO’s eastern flank. They hope to counter the foreseen escalation of Russian troops coming from Moscow. They also hope to make a stand that will cause Putin to think twice about using chemical or even nuclear weapons.
In fact, the White House has already pulled together a team of national security officials to make plans that can be activated if Putin pulls the trigger on weapons of mass destruction, according to one senior administration official.
Biden may also announce that the United States is planning to receive up to 100,000 refugees who need to flee from their war-torn country, according to a source close to the president’s administration.
Those gathering in Brussels will give encouragement to Ukrainian forces who beyond belief have managed to push back Russian troops east of Kyiv and kept Putin’s forces from advancing toward the capital.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told the world leaders, “We gather at a critical time for our security. We are united in condemning the Kremlin’s unprovoked aggression and in our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” The secretary-general went on to say that the alliance from NATO is determined to keep the pressure on Russia so that this war will come to an end.
President Biden is not only going to attend the emergency NATO summit, but he will also meet with the Group of Seven (G7) as well as the European Union summit. After these meetings, the president is planning to hold a press conference. When he speaks with the media, Biden is likely to announce further sanctions against Russia, her leaders, and oligarchs. This press conference will come on the heels of the White House announcement earlier this week saying that Russia is committing war crimes.
“We’ve seen numerous credible reports of indiscriminate attacks and attacks deliberately targeting civilians, as well as other atrocities,” the State Department said in a press conference. They continued to describe Russian forces destroying apartment buildings, schools, and hospitals.
The Defense Department report also described targets hit by Russia that were clearly identifiable as being used by civilians.
The report said, “This includes the Mariupol maternity hospital, as the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights expressly noted in a March 11 report. It also includes a strike that hit a Mariupol theater, clearly marked with the word ‘дети’ — Russian for ‘children’ — in huge letters visible from the sky.”
The United Nations has indicated that half of Ukraine’s children have been displaced internally or as refugees beyond the border of Ukraine. UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said that this war has caused the “fastest large-scale displacement of children since World War II. A total of 78 children have been killed and 105 have been wounded since the end of February. These numbers are the confirmed ones, so they are likely even higher.
All eyes will be on the leaders of this NATO summit to see if the declaration of Russia’s war crimes will change the strategy that is in place right now.