Biden condemns ‘Russian brutality’ after deadly Ukraine strikes

US President, Joe Biden has condemned a wave of Russian missile strikes in Ukraine as a “horrific reminder of Russia’s brutality”, and vowed to strengthen Kyiv’s air defenses.

At least 38 people were killed and 190 injured across the country, including some at a children’s hospital in the capital Kyiv on Monday.

Russia denied it fired at the Kyiv hospital, but the UN said it was likely Moscow that was behind the blast – a conclusion shared by analysts who spoke to BBC Verify.

It comes as Mr Biden prepares to host a NATO summit in Washington on Tuesday.

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The US president said further boosts to Ukraine’s air defenses would be announced at the meeting.

Leaders from the 32 NATO member states, their partner countries and the EU are gathering to mark the 75th anniversary of the bloc. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky is also expected to attend.

He urged Western allies to step up deliveries of air defenses for months, amid increased Russian attacks. UN officials said May was the deadliest month for civilian casualties in almost a year.

The summit will focus on defense and deterrence in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine is not a NATO member, but it has asked to be admitted as soon as possible after its war with Russia ends.

NATO’s outgoing secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, has said it is “inevitable” that Ukraine will eventually become a member, but not until after the war.

Russia fiercely opposes Ukraine joining the bloc, fearing it would bring the alliance’s forces too close to its own territory.

“We will be announcing new measures to strengthen Ukraine’s air defenses to help protect their cities and civilians from Russian strikes,” Mr Biden said.

“I will be meeting with President Zelensky to make clear our support for Ukraine is unshakeable.” He concluded. (BBC/NAN)

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