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Jake Sullivan: U.S. Will Defend “Every Inch of NATO Territory” As Russia Strikes Western Ukraine

Russia warned that arms shipments from NATO countries would be “legitimate targets” for Russian strikes.
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan addresses the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S. October 26, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday that the U.S. will "defend every inch of NATO territory" in the wake of a Russian attack on western Ukraine this weekend.

Driving the news: A barrage of Russian missiles struck a training facility near the Ukraine-Poland border, killing at least 35 people, Ukrainian officials said Sunday, per AP.

Why it matters: The facility in Yavoriv, Ukraine, is only about 15 miles from the border with Poland, and it was subject to the westernmost target hit by Russian missiles since the start of Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine 18 days ago.

What they're saying: "The United States will work with our allies to defend every inch of NATO territory, and that means every inch," Sullivan told CBS' "Face the Nation."

  • Sullivan added that an attack on NATO territory—even an accidental shot—the "NATO alliance would respond to that."
  • Sullivan also told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that the attack was "not a surprise" to the American intelligence and national security community, which predicted that Russian President Vladimir Putin would launch attacks all across Ukraine.
  • "What it shows is that Vladimir Putin is frustrated by the fact that his forces are not making the kind of progress that he thought that they would make against major cities including Kyiv, that he's expanding the number of targets, that he's lashing out and he's trying to cause damage in every part of the country," Sullivan said.

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