President Joe Biden arrived in Belgium on Wednesday to fulfill commitments to NATO allies, coinciding with his administration declaring Russia guilty of executing war crimes.
In a tweet on Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced that he has arrived in Brussels for his meeting with NATO Allies, the European Council, and G7 members. The meeting aims to discuss a united ongoing response to Russia's "unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine." Biden stressed that the United States and the rest of its allies are "united in defense of democracy and with the people of Ukraine."
At the same time, United States Department of State Secretary Antony Blinken announced on Twitter that they have enough evidence confirming Russia's war crimes.
"Based on information currently available, the U.S. government assesses that members of Russia's forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine. We will continue to share information with allies and partners, and pursue accountability," Blinken declared.
Blinken disclosed in a statement that they have gathered "numerous credible reports of indiscriminate attacks and attacks deliberately targeting civilians, as well as other atrocities." The secretary cited the death and destruction that resulted in Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin unleashed unrelenting violence through his military.
The Russian military has destroyed various structures in Ukraine, which included hospitals, residential apartments, critical infrastructure, shopping centers, civilian vehicles, ambulances, among others. This has amounted to thousands of innocent lives that were injured and killed. Blinken underscored that many of the sites damaged by Russian military have been identified to be used by civilians, such as the Mariupol maternity hospital.
This is in addition to a Dnipro hospital, whose video has gone viral. The video showed newly born babies in intensive care moved to the building's basement that was turned into a makeshift bomb shelter.
Blinked highlighted that the attack on the Mariupol maternity hospital was confirmed by the United Nations Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights in its March 11 report. Blinken also emphasized that the UN report indicated the Mariupol theater marked by the Russian word for "children" in huge letters and visible in the sky after it was hit by a Russian missile.
Putin has denied that the footages, images, and information circulating in social media on their attacks were but lies. The Russian president alleged that his military did not intentionally hit on civilians. Yet Blinken pointed out that the said tactics were previously used by Russia in Aleppo, Chechnya, Grozny, and Syria "where they intensified their bombardment of cities to break the will of the people." Blinken stressed that Putin has repeated the same horror in Ukraine and quoted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who remorsed his people being bathed "in blood and tears."
A total of 2,400 civilians were killed on Monday in Mariupol alone, while the United Nations has confirmed more than 2,500 civilian casualties--including the wounded and killed--from the other cities of Ukraine.
Biden has announced previously his visit to Europe to reinforce its commitment in support of NATO Allies, which included Ukraine. The White House announced that Biden will be visiting a town in Poland near the Ukraine border called Rzeszow to assess the humanitarian situation brought by Russia's aggression.
The European trip of Biden is said to be one of the highest stakes undertaken by an American president, as per CNN. New sanctions are planned to be released this week by Biden against Russia, who have not ceased his special military undertaking despite the previous ones already in place.
Zelenskyy lamented on the sanctions from the European Union, as well as, Biden's coming out late. He said Putin was able to use chemical weapons against his people. This is on top of holding hostage 400,000 Ukrainians including 84,000 children on Russian soil. The statement comes after Zelenskyy reiterated international calls last week for harsher sanctions against Russia.