Blinken: “We will protect every inch of NATO territory”

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has stated his “belief” that Russian President Vladimir Putin will attempt to overthrow the Ukrainian government.

On ABC television, Mr Blinken said it was “part of Russia’s plan” to attack Kiev and other major Ukrainian cities, along with a multifaceted offensive against the country from the north, east and south, reports Air Force.

He noted that a Russian attack outside of Ukraine is “possible” and reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to protecting NATO allies, warning that “an attack on one NATO member is an attack on all NATO members”:

“The President has made it clear that we will defend every inch of NATO territory. I think this is the most powerful deterrent against President Putin going beyond Ukraine.”

Blinken reiterated US President Joe Biden’s position that the possibility of extending existing US sanctions aimed directly at the Russian leader is still “discussed” if the situation escalates.

News from Kiev and Ukraine in one line from air force:

There are reports of several explosions in or around the Ukrainian capital Kiev. At least one apartment building in the capital was badly damaged, with three casualties reported. Ukrainian President Zelensky said the Russians want to politically destroy Ukraine by liquidating him. According to him, on Thursday 137 citizens of Ukraine were killed – both soldiers and civilians. Citizens spend the night in underground shelters due to air raid alerts. The city has a curfew until 07:00 local time (05:00 GMT). The Russians have seized control of the Chernobyl complex, site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster. New sanctions against Russia, including freezing bank assets, are being imposed from Brussels to Canberra. President Vladimir Putin defends the invasion, saying there was no other way to protect Russia.

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