The US military presence in Europe is growing much larger as fears of an unhinged Vladimir Putin grow.
President Joe Biden announced the news at a NATO summit in Madrid on Wednesday, pointing the finger directly at the Russian leader who has repeatedly claimed NATO expansion was to blame for his bloody attack on Ukraine.
“We step up at a moment when Putin has shattered the peace in Europe and attacked the absolute tenets of the rules-based order of the United States and our allies,” Biden said.
The US military will now have permanent headquarters for the US 5th Army Corps in Poland; will send an additional rotation combat brigade to Romania; to “increase” rotational operations in the Baltics (where there will be a “continued toe-to-toe presence in the region”); send two more Navy destroyers to Spain; and two more F-35 squadrons to Britain, the White House said.
The news is not expected to go down well in Moscow, where the Kremlin has repeatedly claimed that US and NATO operations in Eastern Europe pose an existential threat to Russia.
While Putin claimed his war on Ukraine was necessary to stop NATO, Western leaders said his plan backfired spectacularly, only giving members of the alliance more resolve and prompting other countries to rush to join (especially Sweden and Finland).
“He gets the opposite of what he wants. He wants less NATO, President Putin gets more NATO,” Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said alongside Western leaders in Madrid on Wednesday.
The comments came as Russian forces ramped up their attacks on Ukraine, just hours after international condemnation of an airstrike on a Ukrainian mall that killed at least 20 people.
According to Ukrainian authorities, Putin’s forces fired 10 rockets at a residential area in the Mykolaiv region on Wednesday morning, killing at least four people.
Anna Zamazeyeva, the head of the Mykolayiv regional council, said several residents were still trapped under the rubble of the bombed apartment building.
“The last terrorist attack – the city of Mykolaiv was hit with rockets. At least 10 rockets in half an hour,” Zamazeyeva wrote in a statement on Telegram, describing it as a “direct hit” on an apartment building.
“Mykolayiv, like Mariupol, Volnovakha and other cities, will be ‘erased from the face of the earth’? What are we waiting for, the international community?” she wrote.
In Dnipr, a 6-year-old child was among seven injured in a similar strike, local authorities said.
The latest attacks came as many were still reeling from the civilian deaths reported the day before.
Mykola Kuleba, Ukraine’s Children’s Rights Ombudsman, shared a brutal photo of one of the victims of a Russian attack on the city of Ochakiv on social media on Tuesday.
“This 6-year-old girl was sleeping peacefully when the Russians shelled Ochakiv,” he wrote. “Her body was found under the rubble. This photo should be everywhere.”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/us-to-boost-military-presence-in-europe-after-biden-says-putin-has-shattered-peace?source=articles&via=rss US steps up military presence in Europe after Biden says ‘Putin destroyed the peace’