President Joe Biden condemned Russia's attack on Ukraine and has imposed sanctions on the renegade nation and its leaders.
The president has also authorized the deployment of more U.S. troops from the United States to Europe, to reassure NATO allies of America's commitment to their collective defense.
"The Russian military has begun a brutal assault on the people of Ukraine without provocation, without justification, without necessity," the president said during a White House statement today. "This is a premeditated attack. Vladimir Putin has been planning this for months."
Biden said the Russian leader ordered more than 175,000 troops that he had amassed along Russia's border with Ukraine and inside Russian ally Belarus to strike.
Biden called the Russian invasion a "needless conflict" and denounced the Russian leader for turning away from dialogue and diplomacy to avoid bloodshed. "For weeks—for weeks—we have been warning that this would happen," Biden said. "And now it's unfolding largely as we predicted."
The president laid the blame for this conflict at the feet of the Russian leader. "Putin is the aggressor," he said. "Putin chose this war, and now he and his country will bear the consequences."
In addition to outlining a series of sanctions on Russia and its leaders, Biden is also ensuring the defense of NATO's frontline states: the Baltic Republics, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. "Tomorrow, NATO will convene a summit [and] will be there to bring together the leaders of 30 allied nations and close partners to affirm our solidarity, and to map out the next steps we will take to further strengthen all aspects of our NATO alliance," he said.
Biden stressed that American forces will not fight in Ukraine. "Our forces are not and will not be engaged in a conflict with Russia in Ukraine," he said. "Our forces are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine, but to defend our NATO allies and reassure those allies in East. As I made crystal clear, the United States will defend every inch of NATO territory with a full force of American power."
The president said NATO is united and more determined than ever. "There is no doubt — no doubt — that the United States and every NATO ally will meet our Article Five commitments, which says an attack on one is an attack on all," he said.
Over the past few weeks, Biden has ordered thousands of American troops to Europe to defend NATO and reassure allies. He has authorized the shifting of troops within U.S. European Command to the Baltic Republics, Poland, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria.
"Now, I'm authorizing additional U.S. force capabilities to deploy to Germany as part of NATO's response, including some the U.S. based forces that the Department of Defense placed on standby weeks ago," the president said.
He said he is in constant contact with Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, "should it become necessary to protect our NATO allies and support the greatest military alliance in the history of the world, NATO."