President Joe Biden on Thursday warned Vladimir Putin that U.S. forces will defend NATO territory.

President Joe Biden on Thursday warned Vladimir Putin that U.S. forces will defend NATO territory if he broadens his assault beyond Ukraine, and said he was ordering more troops to Europe.

Soon after he spoke the Pentagon said 7000 extra personnel and hardware were being deployed to Germany. 

In a White House speech, Biden slapped a new round of sanctions on Russia and promised that Putin’s country would bear the consequences of his aggression against Ukraine.

He said American forces would not engage with Russian troops in Ukraine.

Our forces are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine, but to defend our NATO allies and reassure those allies in the east,’ he said.

‘As I made crystal clear, the United States will defend every inch of NATO territory with the full force of American power.

In a question-and-answer session with reporters, he was asked if that meant American soldiers would fight if Russia attacked NATO territory.

‘If he did move into NATO countries we will be involved,’ he said. ‘We will be involved.’

He delivered his remarks as Ukraine’s government in Kyiv reported mounting casualties as Russian forces attack from the east, north and south.

Ukrainian officials said their forces had lost control of the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear power plant, scene of the world’s worst nuclear disaster.

‘Russia has embarked on a path of evil, but Ukraine is defending itself and won’t give up its freedom,’ Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted.

Biden also held a virtual meeting with the leaders from Britain, Canada, France, Italy and Japan, as well as figures from the European Union and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. 

In other major developments in the hours since Putin’s assault: 

  • Russian troops seized Chernobyl after fierce battle, raising fears about radioactive material being disturbed
  • Global markets tanked off the back of the invasion, with Russia’s ruble sliding to its lowest value ever and the price of oil shooting up to over $100 per barrel 
  • EU will freeze Russian assets, halt access to financial market and target ‘Kremlin interests’ 
  • Central European countries started preparations to receive potentially hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the fighting in Ukraine 
  • UN Security Council will discuss a resolution condemning the invasion 
  • Ukraine demanded the world banish Russia from SWIFT banking system 
  • At least 40 Ukrainian soldiers killed, Ukrainian government says 
  • French President Emmanuel Macron said that Russian’s aggression against Ukraine constituted ‘the most serious attack on peace, on stability in Europe for decades’ 

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