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U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 15, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 15, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Kent Nishimura, Los Angeles Times/TNS)

(Tribune News Service) — President Joe Biden blasted Russia on Monday for its barrage of missile attacks on Ukrainian cities — and vowed to stand by Kyiv to repel the invasion.

“The United States strongly condemns Russia’s missile strikes today across Ukraine,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House. “They once again demonstrate the utter brutality of (Vladimir) Putin’s illegal war on the Ukrainian people.”

The president insisted the attacks would not deter the U.S. from defending Ukraine.

“These attacks only further reinforce our commitment to stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes,” Biden said.

Russia unleashed a volley of 84 missiles at Ukrainian civilian targets overnight Monday. Putin framed the attack as a response to Ukraine’s attack on a bridge linking Russia to the breakaway Ukrainian region of Crimea.

The U.S. and its allies have already sent billions of dollars in military and other assistance to Ukraine since the Russian invasion in the winter.

Biden said the attacks would galvanize Western resolve to stay the course and strengthen sanctions against Moscow to force it to end its invasion.

“We will continue to impose costs on Russia for its aggression, hold Putin and Russia accountable for its atrocities and war crimes,” Biden said. “We again call on Russia to end this unprovoked aggression immediately and remove its troops from Ukraine.”

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