The U.S. government has determined members of Russia’s military have committed war crimes in Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday, as President Biden heads to Europe for a string of high-level diplomatic meetings and a NATO leader announced plans to deploy more troops.
Blinken said that assessment is based in part on U.S. intelligence and pointed to the suffering of civilians in Mariupol, a key port city that’s been the site of continued bombardments.
The remarks come as Biden travels to Brussels on a trip meant to bolster Western alliances as Russia’s increasingly brutal invasion continues, and as NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced plans deploy four more battle groups.
In Kyiv, a hail of rockets struck a residential neighborhood near the center of the capital. Makariv, a strategic town west of Kyiv that Ukrainian officials have said was retaken but is still contested in parts by Russian forces. On the country’s southern front lines, Ukrainian fighters in Mykolaiv have delayed a potential Russian assault on the critical port of Odessa, although interviews in the city illustrate the price paid in lives lost.