Biden rallies NATO allies as bombs fall in Ukraine

STORY: Fresh from his war time visit to Kyiv, U.S. President Joe Biden rallied NATO allies in Poland on Tuesday, reaffirming "unwavering" support for Ukraine and commitments to bolster the alliance's eastern flank against Russia.

BIDEN: "One year ago, the world was bracing for the fall of Kyiv. Well I've just come from a visit from Kyiv and I can report: Kyiv stands strong, Kyiv stands proud, it stands tall and, most important, it stands free."

Biden's speech at Warsaw's Royal Castle comes as the war enters its second year, with no end in sight. Hours earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed that Moscow would achieve its objectives in Ukraine, accused the West of plotting to destroy Russia, and said Russia was suspending participation in the 2010 New START treaty, its last major arms control treaty with Washington.

While Biden said "every inch" of NATO territory would be defended if it was attacked, he disputed Putin's assessment that the West is a threat to Russia.

BIDEN: "The United States and the nations of Europe do not seek to control or destroy Russia. The West is not plotting to attack Russia, as Putin said today, and millions of Russian citizens only want to live in peace with their neighbours are not the enemy. This war is never a necessity. It's a tragedy."

Biden spoke after meeting NATO ally and Polish President Andrzej Duda, a vocal proponent of stronger Western support for Kyiv.

That followed Biden's unannounced trip to Ukraine on Monday, the first time in recent memory a U.S. president traveled to a war zone not controlled by U.S. troops.

Earlier on Tuesday, at least one Russian rocket slammed into a busy street in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, killing six people, leaving a pool of blood on the pavement beside a mangled bus stop.

Moscow has denied deliberately targeting civilians, but cities across Ukraine have been devastated in missile and drone attacks and thousands of civilians have been killed.

Biden condemned the attacks, and said the world will not look away from "atrocities" committed by Russia.

BIDEN: "A dictator bent on rebuilding an empire will never be able to ease the people's love of liberty. Brutality will never grind down the will of the free. And Ukraine, Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia. Never."