Biden Condemns Russian Missile Strikes in Ukraine, Vows to Bolster Air Defenses

US President Joe Biden has condemned a wave of Russian missile strikes that killed at least 38 people in Ukraine as a “horrific reminder of Russia’s brutality,” pledging to bolster Kyiv’s air defenses.

At least 190 were injured across the country, including some at a children’s hospital in Kyiv on Monday. Russia has denied targeting the hospital, but the UN’s monitoring mission in Ukraine indicated it is highly likely Moscow was behind the blast, a conclusion supported by analysts consulted by BBC Verify.

This condemnation comes as President Biden prepares to host a Nato summit in Washington on Tuesday. The US president announced that further boosts to Ukraine’s air defenses would be revealed at the meeting.

Leaders from the 32 Nato member states, their partner countries, and the EU are gathering to mark the bloc’s 75th anniversary. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky is also expected to attend, with the summit focusing on defense and deterrence amidst the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Biden condemns 'Russian brutality' after deadly Ukraine strikes

Although Ukraine is not a Nato member, it has requested admission as soon as possible after its war with Russia concludes. Nato’s outgoing secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, has stated that Ukraine’s membership is “inevitable” but will not occur until after the conflict.

Russia has consistently opposed Ukraine’s Nato membership, fearing it would bring the alliance’s forces too close to its borders.

“We will be announcing new measures to strengthen Ukraine’s air defenses to help protect their cities and civilians from Russian strikes,” Biden said. “I will be meeting with President Zelensky to make clear our support for Ukraine is unshakeable.”

The UN Security Council is also convening on Tuesday at Ukraine’s request. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres joined Western officials in condemning Russia’s missile attack on Ukraine.

Kyiv’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, declared July 9 as a day of mourning following the deadly attacks on the capital.

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