US strongly condemns Russian missile strikes across Ukraine: Biden

US strongly condemns Russian missile strikes across Ukraine: Biden

Russian missile strikes in Ukraine.(photo:instagram)

Washington, Oct 11 (IANS) US President Joe Biden said that that Washington "strongly condemns" Russian missile strikes across Ukraine, including at the centre of Kiev, adding that they once again demonstrated the "utter brutality of Putins illegal war on the Ukrainian people". In a statement issued by the White House on Monday, Biden said: "These attacks killed and injured civilians and destroyed targets with no military purpose... These attacks only further reinforce our commitment to stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes." The President added that the US and it allies 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". "We again call on Russia to end this unprovoked aggression immediately and remove its troops from Ukraine," Biden was quoted as saying in the statement. The President's statement came just hours after multiple missile strikes targeted Ukrainian cities, including the capital which was hit for the very first time since the war broke out on February 24. According to Ukrainian officials, 83 missiles were launched of which more than 43 were shot down. At least 14 people were killed and scores more were injured, the BBC quoted the officials as saying. Several regions were left without electricity and water after missiles hit energy infrastructure. Residents in Kiev said Russia appeared to be targeting civilian areas which were busy with Monday morning commuters, including the children's playground, university and the popular Taras Shevchenko park. Responding to the Monday's strikes, Russian President Vladimir Putin said they were in retaliation for the October 8 explosion on a key bridge linking Russia to Crimea. Biden was one of many foreign leaders to speak with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenksy during which the American President "pledged to continue providing Ukraine with the support needed to defend itself, including advanced air defence systems", according to the White House. The US President also "underscored his ongoing engagement with allies and partners to continue imposing costs on Russia, holding Russia accountable for its war crimes and atrocities, and providing Ukraine with security, economic, and humanitarian assistance". Later in the day, Zelensky said in a video address to the nation: "Restoration work is currently underway across the country. We will restore all objects that were damaged by today's attack by Russian terrorists. It's only a matter of time. "Out of 84 Russian missiles launched against Ukraine, 43 were shot down. Out of 24 Russian drones, 13 were shot down. "The danger is still there. But we are fighting... Ukraine cannot be intimidated. We united even more instead. Ukraine cannot be stopped. We are convinced even more that terrorists must be neutralised. "Now the occupiers are not capable of opposing us on the battlefield already, that is why they resort to this terror. Well, we'll make the battlefield even more excruciating for the enemy. And we will restore everything that was destroyed. Also condemning the missile strikes, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was "deeply shocked" and described the attacks as "another unacceptable escalation of the war" for which civilians were paying the highest price. The European Union said a war crime had been committed, while European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Russia stood for terror and brutality.

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