Day 718 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Trump Would Encourage Russia To Attack NATO Allies

Day 718 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:

  • Trump would encourage Russia to attack NATO allies
  • Drones over Kyiv. Sumy region is under fire
  • "We must be useful": Ukrainian women undergo military training to help their country
  • Ukrainian President Zelensky announced five new senior military appointments
  • Russian police made arrests at demonstrations of wives of Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine

Trump would encourage Russia to attack NATO allies

Donald Trump has said he will "encourage" Russia to attack any NATO member that does not pay its bills as part of the Western military alliance. The White House called the comments "shocking and abnormal."

At a campaign rally on Saturday, February 10, the former US president and candidate for the post this year recounted how he once told a leader of another country that he would not defend a nation that was behind in its payments and would "encourage" the aggressors to "do whatever the hell they want".

Addressing supporters in South Carolina, Trump said he made his comments about Russia during a meeting of NATO leaders in response to a hypothetical situation presented by the leader of a "major country" - that country defaults on its financial obligations within NATO and was attacked by Moscow.

According to Trump, the leader asked if the US would come to his country's aid in that scenario, prompting him to issue a rebuke:

"I said, 'You didn't pay? You're guilty?... No, I'm not going to defend you, in fact I'd encourage them to do whatever...

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