NATO adding more forces to its eastern flank amid Ukraine crisis

NATO leaders and heads of government met on Friday to discuss the situation.

NATO says it is adding more troops and military resources to its eastern flank, as Russia's attacks on Ukraine continue.

The alliance said it will "make all deployments necessary to ensure strong and credible deterrence and defence across the alliance, now and in the future. Our measures are and remain preventive, proportionate and non-escalatory."

NATO leaders and heads of government met on Friday to discuss "the gravest threat to Euro-Atlantic security in decades".

It condemns Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine "in the strongest possible terms" and calls on Moscow to immediately stop its military assault, withdraw its forces from Ukraine, and move away from its "path of aggression".

It added that the world will hold Russia and Belarus accountable for actions which, NATO said, will lead to loss of life and massive human suffering.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that although significant sanctions had already been announced, "we must stand ready to do more, even if it means we have to pay a price, because we are in this for the long haul".

Referencing Russia's violations of international law and rejection of principles enshrined in the NATO-Russia Founding Act, NATO said President Putin's decision to attack Ukraine is a "terrible strategic mistake for which Russia will pay a severe price, both economically and politically, for years to come".

The alliance also warned "no one should be fooled by the Russian government’s barrage of lies".

Watch: British Army hardware arrives in Estonia on Friday.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine is approaching the outskirts of Kyiv.

Moscow unleashed air strikes on cities and military bases, as well as sending in troops and tanks from three sides in an attack that could rewrite the global post-Cold War security order.

Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky pleaded for international help to fend off an attack that could topple his democratically elected government and cause massive casualties.

NATO reassured its members: "Our commitment to Article 5 of the Washington Treaty is iron-clad. We stand united to protect and defend all allies. Freedom will always win over oppression."

Cover image: Alamy.