NATO to boost forces in East Europe

NATO has said it will send more forces to its eastern borders, as the war in Ukraine continues to intensify.

In a meeting on Thursday, NATO is expected to announce that further troop deployments will be made to its eastern flank amid the threat from Russia.

“I expect leaders will agree to strengthen NATO’s posture in all domains, with major increases in the eastern part of the alliance. On land, in the air and at sea,” the body’s chief Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday.

NATO has also pledged to send bio and chemical suits to Ukraine amid the threat of unconventional attacks from Russia.

NATO has around 40,000 troops in eastern Europe including Poland and the Baltic states, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, Ukraine says 100,000 civilians remain trapped in the besieged port city of Mariupol, with fears of a Russian assault looming.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of keeping civilians hostage as shells continue to rain down on the city.

“Employees of the state emergency service and bus drivers have been taken captive,” he warned.

He added that people are living under a “total blockade. Without food, water, medication. Under constant shelling, under constant bombing”.

Ukrainian forces are continuing to repulse Moscow’s assaults on the city although there are reports of Russian soldiers moving into Mariupol.

The New Arab is providing live updates of what’s been happening on the ground in Ukraine and additional analysis on the conflict’s significance. 

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