President Biden held a call Tuesday with top US allies to discuss ongoing support for Ukraine as Russia ratchets up its offensive in the east.
Biden was joined by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, along with leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland and the United Kingdom.
RUSSIA LAUNCHES FULL-SCALE OFFENSIVE IN EASTERN UKRAINE, DECLARES ‘ANOTHER STAGE’ OF WAR HAS STARTED
The top leaders discussed “continued support for Ukraine and efforts to hold Russia accountable as part of our close coordination,” reported Reuters.
Specifics on additional aid to Ukraine have not yet been announced.
The call ended just moments before a senior US defense official warned reporters that Russia’s second campaign in eastern Ukraine had not yet begun, despite claims made earlier in the day by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Lavrov said the offensive had been officially launched and would prove to be a “very important moment of this entire special operation.”
Defense officials have warned that Russia is “still refitting units” outside of Ukraine and that tactical battalion groups are still entering the county.
It has been assessed that 78 operational battalion groups have entered eastern Ukraine – an area the size of West Virginia.
Russia maintains roughly 75 percent of the fighting force it first amassed along Ukraine’s border in the lead-up to the invasion.
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Russia’s actions have been described as a “shaping operation” and a “prelude” to a full-scale attack that officials have warned will likely be even more brutal than what occurred during the first seven weeks of Russia’s invasion.
The US has provided $ 2.6 billion in security assistance for Ukraine and the senior defense official said Tuesday that another seven flights transporting military aid will be sent over the next 24-hours.