Moments after President Biden condemned the Russian missile strikes, particularly on civilians, the bombarding intensified, and it’s much too early to determine the number of casualties. On Tuesday the brutal attacks continued as several cities in Ukraine were under siege. Even the capital Kyiv, which had largely been free of artillery hits, experienced a rain of missiles.
President Putin had promised to step up the attacks after he accused Ukraine of terrorism following the destruction of the Kerch Bridge that connects the Crimean Peninsula with mainland Russia. According to Ukrainian officials, at least 19 people were killed in the first round of strikes on Monday.
After offering his condolences to the victims, President Biden reiterated his promise to stand behind Ukraine. He said Putin had once again demonstrated “the utter brutality…and the illegal war on the Ukrainian people.” These attacks, he continued, “only further reinforce our commitment to stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes. Alongside our allies and partners, we will continue to impose costs on Russia for its aggression, hold Putin and Russia accountable for its atrocities and war crimes, and provide the support necessary for Ukrainian forces to defend their country and their freedom.”
The barrage of missiles from Russian forces are apparently part of its retaliation as a response to the damage of the bridge which is crucial in delivering supplies to the Russian troops in the Ukraine; it also is a response to the advances made by Ukrainian troops into territory in the eastern part of the country formerly under control of Russian forces.
Meanwhile, inside Russia, there is a growing resentment from the elite, who admonished Putin and the military for its lies about the developments in the war effort and the failure to admit battlefield defeats.
The setbacks, Ukraine’s President Zelensky said, are the reason the Russians “resort to this terror” and he called on his troops “to make the battlefields even more painful for the enemy.”