New Delhi, March 23: President Joe Biden leaves Wednesday for Europe on a mission to bolster Western unity, ramp up unprecedented sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and attempt to upset the post-Cold War balance of power.

The conflict with Russian President Vladimir Putin is redefining Biden's 14-month old presidency as he pivots from domestic woes to leading the transatlantic alliance in the most serious crisis in Europe for decades.

On Thursday, Biden will attend summits with NATO, the G7 group and the European Council. He flies Friday to Poland, which neighbors Ukraine and is now the frontline in what some call a new Cold War, and on Saturday he meets President Andrzej Duda.

At least 953 civilians have died in the war until midnight March 21, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Among the dead are 76 children. The UN agency says the actual number of casualties is likely to be higher as real time reporting and verification of the toll is difficult in the areas that are seeing the most fighting.  Russia-Ukraine War: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's Office Launches Humanitarian Aid Website

Ukrainian leaders accused Russia of seizing 15 rescue workers and drivers from a humanitarian convoy trying to get desperately needed food and other supplies into the bloodied port city of Mariupol, which also came under naval attack after weeks of air and land strikes.

The Red Cross confirmed a humanitarian aid convoy trying to reach the city had not been able to enter.  Russia-Ukraine War: Students Who Returned From Ukraine To Get Admission in Karnataka Colleges

When rallying British MPs, he reaches for Churchill. When addressing the US Congress, he invokes Pearl Harbor. When beamed into the Bundestag, he conjures the threat of a new Wall in Europe. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has won standing ovations in parliaments across the West with a series of impassioned addresses from wartime Kyiv tailored to each audience. We look back at the standout moments in his virtual world tour, ahead of his speeches to French and Japanese lawmakers on Wednesday.

The scenario for the NATO military exercise in the Arctic circle has been similar for years now: Norway is attacked by a fictional country, triggering the alliance’s collective defense clause and leading to troops from the United States and more than a dozen partners coming to the defense of the country.

But this year, the bi-annual exercise, known as Cold Response, has taken on an added significance for some of the roughly 3,000 U.S. Marines taking part in it because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines will temporarily suspend regular flights from Hanoi to Moscow starting from March 25 until further notice, the state run Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported on Wednesday.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 23, 2022 02:06 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website