Washington: Russian forces are committing war crimes and atrocities in Ukraine as they engage in a brutal war that is causing immense suffering and needless destruction, the White House has said.

Addressing reporters at her daily news conference on Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the US is continuing to do what it can to provide support for Ukraine at this pivotal moment — flowing security, economic and humanitarian assistance.

“Today, the President (Joe Biden) signed the Lend-Lease Act into law, which adds to our suite of tools as we provide Ukraine with the weapons and equipment they need, Psaki said.

While President (Vladimir) Putin and the Russian people celebrated Victory Day today, we are seeing Russian forces commit war crimes and atrocities in Ukraine as they engage in a brutal war that is causing so much suffering and needless destruction, she said.

The Victory Day, Psaki said, is supposed to be about celebrating peace and unity in Europe and the defeat of Nazis in World War-II.

“Instead, Putin is perverting history, changing history to try — or attempting to change it, I should say — to justify his unprovoked and unjustified war, which has brought catastrophic loss of life and immense human suffering, she said.

A day earlier, Psaki said, First Lady Jill Biden visited Ukraine in a historic visit to meet with the First Lady of Ukraine.

She did that purposefully on Mother’s Day to be there and recognise the sacrifices of so many mothers during this time in Ukraine and send an important message of solidarity, she said.

Earlier in the day, the US announced a new round of actions to ratchet up the pain on Putin.

This includes banning US services that help Russian elites and companies build wealth and evade sanctions, additional restrictions on a broad range of inputs and products like bulldozers and industrial engines that Putin needs for his military, and sanctions on big executives at Russia’s largest banks and Russian military officials, Psaki said.

The US also sanctioned the top three most-watched TV stations in Russia that bolster Putin’s war by spreading his propaganda. For the first time ever, the G7 agreed as a whole to ban or phase out Russian oil, she said.

We will keep building on our unprecedented sanctions that are enacting a heavy toll on Russia’s economy, with GDP expected to collapse by double digits. Our export controls with more than 30 other countries have throttled Russia’s access to critical technology it needs to maintain its military, Psaki added.

Responding to a question, Psaki said the Russian forces have not been able to occupy Ukraine as Putin had claimed earlier.

President Putin and the Russians are not marching through Kyiv. They are struggling to fight in other parts of the country. And the Ukrainians are bravely and courageously fighting every day.

“So, we look at what’s happening on the ground, though it is important to note and to call out the revisionist history that we saw in this speech and the fact that any such statement that we we’ve seen for months from President Putin that the war was prompted by the West is just patently false and inaccurate. And we can’t state that too often, she said.

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