Ukraine: the United States is preparing for a new phase of the war

A Russian offensive concentrated on the east of the country, but without weakening attacks against civilian targets: the United States believes that the war in Ukraine is entering a new phase, calling for a new response from the West.

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As he had already done shortly before Russia launched its invasion on February 24, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan appeared before the press on Monday to detail what the Americans believe will be the next moves of the Russian army.

According to him, Russia “is in the process of repositioning its forces to concentrate its offensive on eastern and parts of southern Ukraine”. She “tried to submit all of Ukraine and failed,” he said, believing that this new phase “could last months or more”.

According to Washington, “Moscow will continue airstrikes and missile strikes on the rest of the country to cause military and economic damage and also, clearly, to sow terror.”

Sanctions and armament

While the images of numerous bodies in Boutcha, a town in the suburbs of kyiv recently taken over by Ukrainian forces, sparked an international outcry, US President Joe Biden promised “additional sanctions” against Russia.

Ukraine: the United States is preparing for a new phase of the war

They will be announced “this week,” said Jake Sullivan, insisting on the desire for “consensus” with the European Union, which for its part is discussing “emergency” new economic reprisals against Moscow.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is also going to Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday to take part in NATO and G7 meetings.

After having already announced several sets of measures, there are hardly any options left for Westerners, apart from the major one, which would consist in attacking the sales of Russian energy to Europe, for the moment largely spared.

Beyond the economic sanctions, Jake Sullivan promised “further announcements of additional military assistance in the coming days” for Ukraine, noting that the equipment could come from the United States itself or be sent from other countries. other countries.

Ukraine: the United States is preparing for a new phase of the war

He spoke of “long-range air defense systems, artillery systems and coastal defense systems”, without giving further details, but assuring that already, the deliveries of arms and equipment to the army Ukraine were taking place “at an unprecedented pace.”

In addition to being economic and military, the response to Russia must also be judicial, believe the Americans.

“War crimes”

“We must gather the information” and “we must have all the details” to “have a trial for war crimes”, said Joe Biden on Monday, when asked about the events in Boutcha.

“You may remember that I was criticized for calling Putin a ‘war criminal’. Well the truth (…) is that he is a war criminal,” he said.

Jake Sullivan said that the International Criminal Court – of which the United States is not a member – was “one of the places” where war crimes had been tried, but considered that there were also “other mechanisms .”

Ukraine: the United States is preparing for a new phase of the war

The national security adviser also said: “We have seen atrocities, we have seen war crimes, we have not seen so far a level of attack on the life of the Ukrainian people that reaches the level of genocide. But it’s something we continue to monitor.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday accused Russian forces of committing “war crimes” which will be “recognized as genocide”.

Moscow for its part denied having killed civilians in Boutcha, the Kremlin and the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov evoking “falsifications” and stagings for the press.

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