US President Joe Biden has said 12,000 additional US troops had moved to countries sharing borders with Russia. “The intention is to send the unmistakable message that we will defend every inch of NATO territory. But the troops will not be fighting a third World War in Ukraine,” Biden told members of the Democratic Caucus of the US House of Representatives.
Dispelling demands to enter Ukraine, he said: “If we respond, it is World War-III.” Explaining the idea behind sending troops to Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Romania, he claimed that as a result of the US-led sanctions, the economy of Russia had been badly impacted.
“The idea that we’re going to send in offensive equipment and have planes and tanks and trains going in with American pilots and American crews, just understand—and don’t kid yourself, no matter what you all say—that’s called World War-III,” he said. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wanted the West to be more involved in negotiations to end the war as also welcomed mediation efforts by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
In separate phone calls with Russian President Valdimir Putin, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron sought an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine. Moscow said Putin informed Macron and Scholz about the state of negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv and responded to their concerns about the humanitarian situation.
Russia said at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Friday that it had documents proving the existence of a network of biological weapons in Ukraine. In a statement, it said its forces had discovered credible evidence that ongoing projects to manufacture biological weapons in Ukraine were being funded by the US. Several members said Russia was spreading false information.
Meanwhile, fighting raged near Kyiv while several other cities were encircled. In Donetsk and Lugansk, Russian forces along with local militia continued to make advances. In Mariupol, one of the besieged cities in south Ukraine, the UN reported looting and violent confrontations among civilians over basic supplies.