President Joe Biden will explain how the “free world” should unite to resist Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a major speech in Poland on Saturday, signaling the path ahead for a war in Ukraine that could intensify.
Before of his speech in Warsaw, he plans to meet some of the 2 million Ukrainian refugees who have sought safety in Poland. The president will speak about “why it is so important that the free world sustain unity and resolve in the face of Russian aggression,” said Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser.
On Friday, it appeared that Russia’s onslaught suffered a significant setback when the city of Kherson in southern Ukraine, near Russian-occupied Crimea, was declared “contested territory again” by a U.S. Defense Department official.
Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy, deputy chief of staff of Russia’s armed forces, told a state-run TV channel Friday that the military will now focus on the “complete liberation” of the separatist Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials, citing eyewitnesses, said some 300 people had died after Russian forces bombed a theater where more than 1,000 had taken refuge in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol. NBC News was not able to independently confirm the claim, which involved an attack that has become an emblem of Russia’s indiscriminate bombardment of civilian targets.
The war in Ukraine has killed 136 children, the country’s prosecutor general said in a Telegram post on Sunday.
It added that 199 children have been injured and that the cities of Kyiv and Kharkiv saw the highest numbers of child casualties.
NBC News has not been able to verify the numbers.
The prosecutor’s message came after the United Nations said Friday that more than 1,080 civilians had been killed in the war, though the true toll is likely “considerably higher.”
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