The Challenge of Countering Putin’s Infall on the Russian Air Defense System: The Case of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Kennedy-Khrushchev Removal Deal
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said he believes Ukraine is “making progress,” in the Kherson region of the country as they continue to counter Russia’s invasion, adding there has been a “kind of change in the battlefield dynamics.”
There’s now a race between the Ukrainians’ ability to acquire new air defense hardware, train on it and deploy it – and the Russians’ ability to inflict massive damage on Ukrainian infrastructure (civilian and military) with their deep stocks of missiles, not all of which are precision weapons.
The soviet-era S-300 missile system has been important for Ukraine, but finding it can be difficult. The U.S. has regularly delivered air defense assistance, including more than 1,600 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and eight ground-based air missile defense systems called NASAMS. The U.S. has also supplied dozens of mobile rocket launchers called HIMARS, in addition to an array of other military vehicles and arms including Javelin anti-tank missiles, helicopters, howitzers and drones. But those supplies, too, are running low.
It’s about more than the equipment you have. It’s about how you employ that equipment, how you synchronize things together to create battlefield effects that then can create opportunities,” he said.
The symptoms of the problem are not the cause of the problem and the air defense support is addressing them. Responding only in this way is playing Russia’s game by Russia’s rules, and telling Moscow that the West finds its way of warfare acceptable.
President Biden’s declaration on Thursday night that the world may be facing “the prospect of Armageddon” if President Vladimir V. Putin uses a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine included a revealing side note: that Mr. Biden has been looking to help the Russian president find an “off-ramp” that might avert the worst outcome.
The Cuban Missile Crisis is what led Mr. Biden to reference it a second time in his speech at the New York fund-raiser. In that famous case — the closest the world came to a full nuclear exchange, 60 years ago this month — President John F. Kennedy struck a secret bargain with Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet premier, to remove American missiles from Turkey.
The deal averted a disaster that could have killed tens of millions of Americans and many more Soviet citizens.
Zelensky and the Russian War in Ukraine: What Will the Future be? Kyiv, Ukraine – An Update after Biden’s Visit to Washington
Zelensky was invited by Biden to Washington because of his belief that the war in Ukraine is going to get worse, according to officials. Zelensky could make a dramatic appeal for continued international support as the winter sets in and Russia continues to target civilian infrastructure.
Biden, the statement said, “also underscored his ongoing engagement with allies and partners to continue imposing costs on Russia, holding Russia accountable for its war crimes and atrocities, and providing Ukraine with security, economic, and humanitarian assistance.”
The US position has since changed, officials said, and the concerns with the F-16s now are less about escalation and more about logistical challenges, officials said. Though the Pentagon has not explicitly ruled out sending F-16s to Ukraine, officials view it as a long term proposition, one likely measured on a timeline of years instead of months.
The UK defense secretary said the Challenger 2s would be given to Kyiv this side of the summer while the German defense minister said his Leopard2s would be in Ukraine by the end of March. And on January 26, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said that deliveries of the Abrams tanks will take “months.”
Zelensky said in a video message Tuesday that the missiles that were fired at Ukraine had been shot down. According to Ukrainian officials, 65 out of 112 missiles were brought down by the Russians on Monday and Tuesday.
Russia has launched a wave of air strikes on civilian infrastructure in attempts to starve Ukraine into submission, during the winter months. The bombing campaign has made life miserable in Ukranian but there are no signs of people backing down.
KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine is striking more boldly at targets deep in Russian territory because Kyiv has assessed that Moscow’s military is fighting at the limits of its conventional capabilities, former military officials and analysts say.
Western nations that have supported Zelensky had concerns about his long-term plan.
Administration officials think there won’t be any additionalUkraine aid this fiscal year. The current spending package for Ukraine is ending on September 30 and according to them, the $45 billion will be the last major package of aid.
Putin and the War of Choice: a warning warning on Russia’s nuclear security threat to the Russian people, as stated by Kirby on CNN on “Erin Burnett Out Front”
“It’s clear that he’s feeling the pressure both at home and overseas, and how he reacts to that only he can say,” Kirby told CNN’s Kate Bolduan on “Erin Burnett OutFront.”
Moscow is running thin on military weapons and staving off “desperation at many levels inside Russian society,” according to the head of the UK’s largest spy agency.
The costs to Russia — in people and equipment are staggering. We know — and Russian commanders on the ground know — that their supplies and munitions are running out. The forces of Russia are exhausted.
“I think any talk of nuclear weapons is very dangerous and we need to be very careful about how we’re talking about that,” Fleming said when asked about Putin’s nuclear threats.
If they went down that path, I would hope that we would see some indicators. But let’s be really clear about that, if they are considering that, that would be a catastrophe in the way that many people have talked about,” he added.
In a speech later Tuesday, Fleming will also say Russians are increasingly counting the cost of the invasion of Ukraine and are seeing “how badly” Putin “has misjudged the situation.”
“With little effective internal challenge, his decision-making has proved flawed. This is a strategy leading to strategic errors in judgement. Fleming will say that their gains are being reversed in an address at theRUSI annual security lecture.
They know the access to modern technologies and their influences will be restricted. And they are feeling the extent of the dreadful human cost of his war of choice,” he will say.
The Russian Air Defense System is What It Takes to Help Ukraine During the First First Year of the War, and What It Needs to Do
The number of projectiles that will get through is simple for Moscow as Ukraine tries to shore up its missile defense.
The Pentagon’s view at the time was that of its weapons stocks, Russia was “running the lowest on cruise missiles, particularly air-launched cruise missiles,” but that Moscow still had more than 50% of its pre-war inventory.
It is not clear whether Russian will use older, less accurate but equally powerful missiles as their inventories are being decimated by a bombing campaign.
The Russians have also been adapting the S-300 – normally an air defense missile – as an offensive weapon, with some effect. Their speed makes them difficult to intercept in places like Zaporizhzhia and Mykolaiv where they have wreaked havoc. But they are hardly accurate.
Anton Gerashcenko, a spokesman for Ukraine’s Internal Ministry, reported attacks on infrastructure near the city’s main rail station, but lines were operating as normal midmorning Monday.
He told CNN’s Richard Quest that this was the “first time from the beginning of the war” that Russia has “dramatically targeted” energy infrastructure.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday that Ukraine needed “more” systems to better halt missile attacks. “These air defense systems are making a difference because many of the incoming missiles (this week) were actually shot down by the Ukrainian air defense systems provided by NATO Allies,” he said. It is understandable that there is need for more if not all of them are shot down.
In what might be seen as a subtle message, Russia shared a video of the installation of a intercontinental missile into a silo in the Kaluga region for a commander in the Kozelsky missile formation.
The US has seen some evidence that the Iranian drones have already experienced numerous failures, according to the deputy undersecretary of defense for policy.
Ukraine’s wish-list – circulated at Wednesday’s meeting – included missiles for their existing systems and a “transition to Western-origin layered air defense system” as well as “early warning capabilities.”
Patriot air defense systems could intercept a large number of Russia’s missiles and attack drones – although Ukraine already claims a high success rate; on Monday, for example, it said 30 out of 35 missiles had been stopped. NATO has its best technology on the table in order to help Ukranian win the war and hold Russia back.
The Western systems are starting to trickle in. The Ukrainian Defense Minister said on Tuesday that a new era of air defense began with the arrival of the first IRIS-T from Germany and two units of the US National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System.
KYIV — Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov says he’s optimistic Western allies will eventually supply his country with advanced fighter jets, including U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets, and adds that Ukrainian forces are poised to start training on newly committed advanced battle tanks “as soon as possible.”
Ukraine “badly needed” modern systems such as the IRIS-T that arrived this week from Germany and the NASAMS expected from the United States , Bronk said.
The Russian Army is Playing for the Feather: Embracing the War in Ukraine, a Direct Message to the Kremlin
Ukraine’s senior military commander, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, tweeted Tuesday his thanks to Poland as “brothers in arms” for training an air defense battalion that had destroyed nine of 11 Shaheeds.
He said Poland had given Ukraine “systems” to help destroy the drones. Last month there were reports that the Polish government had bought advanced Israeli equipment (Israel has a policy of not selling “advanced defensive technology” to Kyiv) and was then transferring it to Ukraine.
The quieter places in the country were rattled by the sound of the air raid sirens and the Russian attacks.
The war in Ukraine entered 2023 with its deadliest attack yet on Russian troops – and an attempt by Moscow to shift the bulk of blame onto its own dead soldiers.
Not for the first time, the war is teetering towards an unpredictable new phase. “This is now the third, fourth, possibly fifth different war that we’ve been observing,” said Keir Giles, a senior consulting fellow at Chatham House’s Russia and Eurasia Programme.
It means that, as winter approaches, the stakes of the war have been raised once more. Giles said that Russia would like to keep it up. The recent successes of the Ukrainian Army have sent a direct message to the Kremlin. “They are able to do things that take us by surprise, so let’s get used to it,” Giles said.
Ukrainian troops hoist the country’s flag above a building in Vysokopillya, in the southern Kherson region, last month. Ukrainian officials say they have liberated hundreds of settlements since their counter-offensive began.
Russia said Thursday its forces would help evacuate residents of occupied Kherson to other areas, as Ukraine’s offensive continued to make gains in the region. The announcement came shortly after the head of the Moscow-backed administration in Kherson appealed to the Kremlin for help moving residents out of harm’s way, indicating that Russian forces were struggling in the face of Ukrainian advances.
During the summer a suggestion was made that Ukrainians could not seize ground in the war, but these counter-offensives have shown that is not true.
The Russians are playing for the whistle and trying to prevent a collapse of their frontline before winter sets in, according to a senior fellow.
“If they can get to Christmas with the frontline looking roughly as it is, that’s a huge success for the Russians given how botched this has been since February.”
The question is when the blame will begin shifting from the military to Putin himself, particularly since he has seemed ill-prepared to change the leadership at very the top. In the last change, the first person to be placed in overall command of all Russian forces on the Ukraine front was an army general formerly in charge of the brutal Russian bombardment of Syria.
Ukrainian troops are focused primarily on pushing Russian forces eastwards, having crossed the Oskil River in late September, with Moscow likely preparing to defend the cities of Starobilsk and Svatove in the Luhansk region, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
If Ukraine lands a big blow in the war in Donbas, it would be a sign of its strength, and it would be eager to improve on its gains, since the full impact of rising energy prices is felt around Europe.
“There are so many reasons why there is an incentive for Ukraine to get things done quickly,” Giles said. The winter energy crisis in Europe, and energy infrastructure and power being destroyed inUkraine, are always going to be a test of resilience for the Western backers of the country.
“The United States is going to be with Ukraine for as long as it takes in this fight,” Sullivan said in a recent visit to Ukraine. There will be no wavering, no flags, and no flinching as we go forward.
Ukraine’s national electricity company, Ukrenergo, says it has stabilized the power supply to Kyiv and central regions of Ukraine after much of the country’s electricity supply was disrupted by Russian missile attacks on Monday and Tuesday. Ukrainians have been warned that there is a lot of work to be done, and asked to use less energy during peak hours.
The Future of War with Russia: The Status of the ISW Assessment of the Russian War on Intermediate Scales in the ISM and the Rest of the World
According to the I SW, the strikes waste some of Russia’s dwindling precision weapons against civilian targets as opposed to militarily significant targets.
Justin Bronk, a military expert with the London-based Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), agreed with that assessment, telling CNN that, “Ukrainian interception success rates against Russian cruise missiles have risen significantly since the start of the invasion in February.”
The impact of such an intervention in terms of pure manpower would be limited; Belarus has around 45,000 active duty troops, which would not significantly bolster Russia’s reserves. It would endanger another assault on the Ukrainian side of the border.
“The reopening of a northern front would be another new challenge for Ukraine,” Giles said. It would provide Russia a new route into the Kharkiv oblast (region), which has been recaptured by Ukraine, should Putin prioritize an effort to reclaim that territory, he said.
Milley’s push for peace has spilled into the public in recent days, just as Ukraine takes back the city of Kherson. In comments at the Economic Club of New York on Wednesday, Milley praised the Ukrainian army for fighting Russia to a stalemate, but said that an outright military victory is out of reach.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday that Ukraine needed “more” systems to better halt missile attacks, ahead of a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels.
“There are many things Russia can do to make the war personal, not just for people of Ukraine but around Europe, to try to force pressure on governments to remove their support for Ukraine,” Giles said.
The coming weeks are therefore crucial both on the battlefield, as well as in Europe and around the globe, experts suggest. Giles said that where Putin goes next depends on how the rest of the world is responding. “Russia’s attitude is shaped by the failure of Western countries to confront and deter it.”
Explosions in Kiev: Russian Air Strikes Intensifies Downtown Kyiv, Ukraine’s Primordial Commuter
Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said at least two Russian airstrikes targeted downtown Kyiv. Two more also hit the city, according to Ukraine’s public broadcaster.
Several residential buildings were damaged. The 18 people were pulled from the rubble, and they are looking for two more. Many of the city’s central streets are closed for emergency services to respond.
“”The enemy can attack our cities, but it won’t be able to break us. Ukraine’s President wrote that the occupiers will get a fair punishment and condemnation of future generations.
In the past, Zelenskyy’s Chief-of-staff has called on the west to provideUkraine with more air defense systems. “We have no time for slow actions,” he said online.
Klitshchko posted a photo of shrapnel labeled “Geran-2,” Russian’s designation for the Iranian drones, but he removed the picture after commenters criticized him for confirming a Russian strike.
The EU High-Intensity War on Ukraine and US-Mexico Arms Abundances in the Preliminary Meeting of the House Speaker
European Union foreign ministers are scheduled to meet today in Luxembourg. During the meeting, the EU’s top diplomat told reporters the bloc would look into “concrete evidence” that Iran was involved in Ukraine.
According to two administration officials, neither President Joe Biden’s national security team nor his secretary of state were in favor of Milley’s position.
The Ukrainians know that the war will end at the negotiating table. The Russians occasionally have voiced that same sentiment,” Price said, before laying the burden of proof on Putin.
The comments left administration officials unsurprised – given Milley’s advocacy for the position internally – but also raised concerned among some about the administration appearing divided in the eyes of the Kremlin.
There are also concerns among foreign diplomats about the implications the House speaker negotiations could have on the future of US support for Ukraine.
officials said that Milley wants to make it clear to the Ukrainian people that he doesn’t want them to capitulate, but that now is the best time to bring an end to the war because of the risks of more deaths and destruction.
The view is not held widely by most of the administration. The State Department is located on the same side of the pole as Milley. That dynamic has led to a unique situation where military brass are more fervently pushing for diplomacy than US diplomats.
The war has raised concerns about how long it can last due to the fact that the US military is digging deep into its weapons inventories to support the Ukrainians, as well as the fact that they are searching the globe for supplies to support the country through the winter.
The US intends to buy 100,000 rounds of artillery ammunition from South Korean arms manufacturers to provide to Ukraine, a US official said, part of a broader effort to find available weaponry for the high-intensity battles unfolding in Ukraine. As part of the deal, the US will purchase 100,000 rounds of 155mm howitzer ammunition, which will then be transferred to Ukraine through the US.
Defense Assistance to Ukraine: A Step Towards Diplomacy in the War Between the U.S. and the Soviet Union? The Case for a Patriot Air Defense Battery
State Department spokesperson Ned Price would not say Thursday whether the State Department agrees with Milley’s position. Instead, Price deflected to a position that US officials have often made in recent months: the US sides with Zelensky who has said that a diplomatic solution is needed.
The onus is on Moscow to demonstrate that it is willing to sit down and negotiate with our partners in the alliance, and that they are ready to do so in good faith.
In advance of Zelensky’s arrival, the Biden administration announced it is sending $2 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, including a sophisticated new air defense system that Zelensky has requested for months.
The Pentagon’s plan still needs to be approved by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin before it is sent to President Joe Biden for his signature. The three officials told CNN that approval is expected.
The number of missiles will not be specified, but a typical battery includes a radar set that can detect and track targets, a control station, and up to eight ready to fire missiles.
CNN has reported that a potential transfer of the system to Germany would have many questions, including how long it would take to train Ukrainian soldiers on the system.
“If you have an Iranian Shahed uncrewed system heading toward critical infrastructure in Ukraine, it may very well be worth the cost of a Patriot missile to take it out,” he said. “Given the onslaught that Russia is conducting against Ukrainian critical infrastructure, the move makes sense to me.”
Unlike smaller air defense systems, Patriot missile batteries need much larger crews, requiring dozens of personnel to properly operate them. The training for the missiles usually takes months, but due to constant attacks from Russia, the United States will have to do it in less than a year.
The ability of the Ukrainians to persistence has paid off not only in securing heavy tanks from Germany and the US, but in the US finally agreeing to send an air defense battery which the US once considered too difficult to operate.
The United States is very close to approving the deployment of its most advanced ground-based air defense system to Ukraine, in response to the country asking for help in defending against an onslaught of Russian missiles and drones.
Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III could approve a directive as early as this week to transfer one Patriot battery already overseas to Ukraine, the officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. President Biden would approve final approval.
White House, Pentagon and State Department officials wouldn’t comment on the specifics of the transfer of a Patriot battery which would be one of the most sophisticated weapons that the US has provided Ukraine.
In a speech to the Group of 7 nations on Monday, Mr. Zelensky thanked the countries for their continued support but listed financing for weapons first among his requests.
The Russian Army, the Donetsk region, and the Russian War on the Baluchuchi border: Comment on a Russian Army Air Defense System
“Earlier, many experts, including those overseas, questioned the rationality of such a step which would lead to an escalation of the conflict and increase the risk of directly dragging the US army into combat,” Zakharova said at a briefing in Moscow.
Kyiv has repeatedly asked for the US Army’s Patriot – an acronym for Phased Array Tracking Radar for intercept on Target – system, as it is considered one of the most capable long-range air defense systems on the market.
I find it ironic that officials from a country that attacked its neighbor in an illegal and unprovoked invasion would choose to use words that are so provocative to describe defensive systems that are meant to save lives and protect civilians.
The United States and Ukraine agree that targets in Russia will not be struck by American-supplied weaponry. The Biden administration has vowed to avoid American involvement that could escalate to direct confrontation with Russia. American officials said they won’t object to Ukrainian hitting back with its own weaponry.
Commander Alexander Khodakovsky, who is in charge of Russian militia in the Donetsk region, appeared on Russian state TV this week suggesting that Russia could not defeat the NATO alliance in a conventional war.
Zelensky spoke to The Economist on Thursday and rejected the idea that the only areas that could be claimed by the state of Ukraine would be land seized by Russia since February 2022, rather than areas under Russian control.
NATO still wants to provide aid to Ukraine and make sure that NATO does not become involved in the war, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told a French news outlet this week.
Old gun. A US military official told CNN that Russian forces have had to use 40-year-old cannonballs in order to keep up with their rapidly diminishing supplies.
“You load the ammunition and you cross your fingers and hope it’s gonna fire or when it lands that it’s gonna explode,” said the official, speaking to reporters.
Zelensky’s 10-month visit to the U.S. and the impact of a deep trenches crisis on Ukraine, and what he needs
The effect of months of military aid. The scale is different, but CNN reported last month that the US is running low on arms for Ukraine. Look for that storyline to become part of the US aid debate after Republicans take control of the House of Representatives next month and promise more scrutiny of US aid for Ukraine.
In the trenches. CNN’s Will Ripley filed a video report from trenches and fortifications being built along Ukraine’s border with Belarus, where there is growing concern about Russia once again assembling troops. Ripley talks to a sewing machine repairman turned tank driver.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with leaders in London, Paris andBrussels, and repeated his call for allies to send fighter jets to his country.
The visit by the Ukrainian leader to Washington, expected to last only a matter of hours, nonetheless amounts to a remarkable moment 10 months since Russia’s war in Ukraine began.
Zelensky, who the official said was “very keen” to visit the US, determined those parameters met his needs, and the US set to work executing them. The trip was confirmed on Sunday.
Keir Giles’ Perspective on the Third World and Prospects for the United States: A Commentary on the Progress of the Center for New American Security
Keir Giles works for Chatham House, an international affairs think tank in the UK. He is the author of a book. And What it Means for You.” His views are his own, according to this commentary. Read more opinion on CNN.
“It becomes a real humanitarian problem when you are trying to cut off all of the country’s water supply,” said Jeffrey Edmonds, a 22-year Army veteran now working as a Russia analyst at the Center for a New American Security. It’s a necessary step to help the Ukrainians in the fight.
The constant repetition of the narrative that Russia dislikes will ensure the Third World War will be guaranteed, and it has helped shape US and Western behavior.
In doing so, the West has played along with the Kremlin’s pretense that it is not at war, only waging a “special military operation.” Russia had been protected from the consequences of its own aggression.
Moscow’s conventional forces are struggling and it appears to be out of new cards to play. The use of nuclear force is less likely now that China and India are against it.
Russia will continue to look for alternative weaponry as it searches for replacements for its missiles that will be used atUkraine. Iran may be the only country that is willing to supply Russia in the future.
That sets a disastrous example for other aggressive powers around the world. It says possession of nuclear weapons allows you to wage genocidal wars of destruction against your neighbors, because other nations won’t intervene.
If that is not the message that the US and West want other countries to hear, then supply of the weapons should be followed by a more assertive means of dislodging Moscow.
He wants fast-track training for missiles which the US promised to President Zelenskyy in December. The US has begun training Ukrainians in Oklahoma.
More precision weapons make sure thatUkraine hits its targets and not any civilians remaining nearby. Russia burned through hundreds and thousands of shells as it blanketed areas it wanted to capture.
The new deal will likely include the supply of JDAMs, which could be used to launch unguided missiles or bombs. The increase in accuracy will be a good thing, as they burn through more bullets. A large amount of the $1.8 billion is expected to be used to fund stock and munitions replacements.
However, the Kremlin denounced the transaction and said the US supplying Ukraine with Patriot missile systems will prolong the Ukrainian people’s “suffering.”
What are Ukrainians waiting for in Kiev? The challenge of using unmanned military assets to help Ukraine in the war of choice – and how Putin’s defeat has shocked the GOP
This is trickier. Kevin McCarthy, who will likely be the Speaker of the House of Representatives, warned the Biden administration that it can not expect a blank cheque from the GOP-led Congress.
The remnants of the Trumpist’s “America First” elements of the party have doubts about how much aid the US should give to eastern Europe.
Washington has a large defense budget which makes it relatively light to pay for the defeat of Russia in this conflict.
He is an inspiring rhetorician, and – as a former reality TV star turned unexpected president – the embodiment of how Putin’s war of choice has turned ordinary Ukrainians into wartime heroes.
Depending on which missiles are used and what is being targeted, a Patriot battery has a strike range of roughly 20 to 100 miles — much too small to cover the entirety of Ukraine, which is about 800 miles from east to west and more than 500 miles from north to south.
“That will do a good job of defending maybe a single city, like Kyiv, against some threats. But it’s not putting a bubble over Ukraine,” said Mark Cancian, a retired Marine Corps colonel and senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Even on a compressed schedule, the training requirements mean that the Patriot system is unlikely to be operational until late winter or early spring, perhaps in February or March.
Cancian said that hasty training could hamper the effectiveness of the system and that Ukrainians could be unable to prevent Russians from destroying it. It could hurt the political will to send future assistance to Ukraine.
“If the Ukrainians had a year or two to assimilate the system, that wouldn’t be any problem. They don’t have a long period of time. Cancian said that they wanted to do this in a couple weeks.
Ukraine has a much smaller number of fighter jets, mostly MiG-29s that date to the Soviet era. They are used in combat by the Ukrainians. “What the Russians have learned is that this is a war where it’s much more sustainable to use unmanned assets, whether those unmanned assets are drones or missiles,” said Grieco. This tactic is forcingUkraine to make a tough choice. Russia has been taking down Ukrainian drones using a limited number of air defense missiles. Russia gets Iranian drones for as little as $20,000. The cost-benefit ratio favors Russia. There is a chance that Russian pilots in fighter jets are not shot down, if Ukraine exhausts its supply of missiles.
Pressure on the U.S. and its allies to do more has been brought on by the recent Russian air strikes on Ukraine.
In addition to the Patriot battery, the new aid package announced Wednesday also includes additional HIMARS ammunition, mortars, artillery rounds and tens of thousands of GRAD rockets and tank ammunition.
Russian Conscripts Are Coming to the Front: U.S. Military Support for Ukraine’s Air Defense Campaign, CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360
Kelly Greico, a defense analyst at the Stimson Center, called the announcement “a sign that there is a real deep concern” among U.S. officials about Ukraine’s air defense capability.
The cost of the missiles that accompany the Patriot is four times more expensive than the missiles that are used by the HIMARS. Analysts said that Ukrainians must use them in a way that’s least costly. Cancian said “You cannot just let these things fly.”
Greico said that it was a terrible choice to make, between trying to protect civilians from the savage attacks of the Russians and ensuring that you have the long term military wherewithal to continue resisting the Russians.
She said Zelensky’s address made both Republicans and Democrats understand what was at stake in the fight against Putin and Russian aggression and now with Iran as well.
The speech “connected the struggle of Ukrainian people to our own revolution, to our own feelings that we want to be warm in our homes to celebrate Christmas and to get us to think about all the families in Ukraine that will be huddled in the cold and to know that they are on the front lines of freedom right now,” Clinton said on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” Wednesday.
Clinton, who had previously met Putin as US Secretary of state, said he was unlikely to be able to predict what would happen as the war in the country moved in favor of the opposing side.
“I think around now, what [Putin] is considering is how to throw more bodies, and that’s what they will be – bodies of Russian conscripts – into the fight in Ukraine,” Clinton said.
Zelensky wore a drab green sweatshirt with a blue-and-yellow striped tie, and the Ukrainian battle flag was unfurled on the House floor.
But the trip was about far more than symbols. If he did not believe that meeting face-to-face was possible, Biden wouldn’t invite Zelensky to Washington and wouldn’t take him for the first time outside Ukraine since the war began.
Both men made it clear they believed the war was entering a new phase. As Russia sends more troops to the frontlines and wages a brutal air campaign against civilian targets, fears of a stalemate are growing.
Zelensky made statements on Wednesday that suggested the road to ending the war would not involve making concessions to Russia.
“For me as a president, ‘just peace’ is no compromises,” he said, indicating he doesn’t see any road to peace that involves Ukraine giving up territory or sovereignty.
Peskov added that “there were no real calls for peace.” But during his address to the US Congress on Wednesday, Zelensky did stress that “we need peace,” reiterating the 10-point plan devised by Ukraine.
For his part, Biden said it was up to Zelensky to “decide how he wants to the war to end,” a long-held view that leaves plenty of questions unanswered.
Zelensky peppered his address to lawmakers with references to American history, from the critical Battle of Saratoga during the American Revolutionary War to the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.
He delivered his address in English, a purposeful choice he telegraphed ahead of the speech. His attire was designed to remind his audience that he was in the presence of a wartime leader.
Zelensky’s enduring legacy: a tale of two nights, three days in the life of a man with billions of dollars in the US
Over the course of the conflict, Zelensky has demonstrated an acute ability to appeal to his audience, be they national legislatures or the audience of the Grammys.
He sought to use Americans’ emotion to evoke dark winter nights in his country, as Russia attempted to interrupt the power supply.
“In two days we will celebrate Christmas. Maybe a quiet place. There will be no electricity because it will not be more romantic.
But he also seemed aware that many Americans – including some Republicans in Congress – have wondered aloud why billions of US dollars are needed for a conflict thousands of miles away. He wanted to spread the cause between his homeland and the world.
Yet it doesn’t take much to see tensions just beneath the surface. Zelensky has persistently demanded additional US support, despite the fact that Biden has directed billions of dollars in military assistance to his country.
Biden or his team have not always liked that. But as he has with a host of other foreign leaders, Biden appeared intent Wednesday on translating physical proximity into a better understanding of his counterpart.
“It is all about looking someone in the eye. I mean it with all my heart. I don’t think there’s a better way to look at someone than sitting down face to face with a friend or foe.
Vladimir Putin has lied about the war in Ukraine with the Kremlin regime in Kyiv, as declared by Zelensky
Rules changes to the budgetary process could significantly hamper Congress’ ability to pass new aid come September and certain conservative Republicans have vowed to oppose any new Ukraine funding.
Moscow said the war in Ukraine will go on for a long time after President Zelensky visited Washington.
Russia’s foreign ministry condemned what it called the “monstrous crimes” of the “regime in Kyiv,” after US President Joe Biden promised more military support to Ukraine during Zelensky’s summit at the White House on Wednesday.
The Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that military support from the West wouldn’t really make a difference.
Peskov claimed that the meeting showed that the US is trying to cause a conflict between Russia and the last Ukrainian.
Since some cruise missiles are launched from bombers that fly from the airfields hit in the attacks, the strikes could potentially destroy the missiles on the ground at the Russian airfields before they can be deployed.
He said he did not speak for the government and that someone would attack him because he was fighting back. There is absolutely no reason not to try and do this.
Serhiy Hrabskiy, a retired colonel and commentator on the war for Ukrainian news media, said that Ukraine’s military has not hesitated to hit airfields, fuel tanks and ammunition depots that are legitimate military targets. Targeting sites in Crimea and cross-border artillery duels have become routine as the war has moved closer to Russia and the occupied peninsula.
A Ukrainian state-owned military contractor has said it developed a long-range drone that would, theoretically, be able to hit Moscow. Russia said Ukraine used Soviet-era, jet-powered reconnaissance drones to hit air bases on Dec. 5.
The most sophisticated missile in Russia’s arsenal, the Kinzhal, a hypersonic weapon that can reach targets in minutes and is all but impossible to shoot down, is in even shorter supply, Mr. Budanov said.
The Russians were wrong to think that no one at home would be affected by the war. He added that explosions at Russian airfields complicated the bombing campaign against Ukraine, forcing Moscow to relocate some of its aircraft, though no one is claiming that the strikes have seriously impeded the Russian barrage.
Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, told The Associated Press on Monday that his government wanted to hold a “peace summit,” hopefully mediated by the United Nations’ secretary general, António Guterres, by late February, but that Russia could not be invited unless it first faced prosecution for war crimes. It was the latest claim by each country that they’re open to talks if they can agree on terms that are acceptable to the other.
At the time, Putin insisted his forces were embarking on a “special military operation” — a term suggesting a limited campaign that would be over in a matter of weeks.
War against Ukraine has left Russia isolated and struggling with more tumultahedro-more. The social and political consequences of the new russian laws
Yet the war has also fundamentally upended Russian life — rupturing a post-Soviet period in which the country pursued, if not always democratic reforms, then at least financial integration and dialogue with the West.
The military or leadership have been affected by the laws passed in February. A leading independent monitoring group says that 45% of people arrested for demonstrating against the war are women.
Lengthy prison sentences have been meted out to high profile opposition voices on charges of “discrediting” the Russian army by questioning its conduct or strategy.
The repressions extend elsewhere: organizations and individuals are added weekly to a growing list of “foreign agents” and “non-desirable” organizations intended to damage their reputation among the Russian public.
The most prestigious human right group in Russia was forced to stop activities because of alleged violations of the foreign agents law.
Russia’s restrictive anti-LGBT laws were vastly expanded as a result of the war in Ukraine.
For now, repressions remain targeted. Some of the new laws are still unenforced. Should the moment arise, the measures are intended to crush wider dissent.
The new “fake news” laws that criminalized the contrary of government lines forced leading independent media outlets and a handful of vibrant, online investigative firms to shut down or relocate abroad.
Restrictions extend to internet users as well. American social media giants such as Twitter and Facebook were banned in March. Roskomnadzor, the Kremlin’s internet regulator, has blocked more than 100,000 websites since the start of the conflict.
There is still access to independent sources of information for Russians through technical workarounds. But state media propaganda now blankets the airwaves favored by older Russians, with angry TV talk shows spreading conspiracies.
Ruling out Russia: The Cold War, Cold War War, and the Cold War: What have we learned in the First Three Months of Russia?
Thousands of perceived government opponents — many of them political activists, civil society workers and journalists — left in the war’s early days amid concerns of persecution.
Hundreds of thousands of Russian men fled to border states, trying to escape the draft, after Putin ordered 300,000 more troops to be sent in September.
Putin argued it was good riddance, part of a “self-cleansing” of Russian society from traitors and spies. Russian officials have suggested stripping those who left the country of their passports. Russia may thrive without all of its best and brightest.
Some countries that have absorbed the Russian exodus see their economies growing even as Russians remain a sensitive issue to former Soviet republics.
The ruble regained its value due to the price controls of Russia. McDonald’s and several other brands ultimately relaunched under new names and Russian ownership. The government reported the economy had declined by 2.5% by the end of the year.
The amount of countries that will pay for Russian oil has been capped by the West. There are signs the efforts are already cutting into profits.
Europe is going to pull back on its support toUkraine as they grow angry at the cost of energy in their own country, and that is when President Putin is hoping to see the least impact from sanctions. He announced a five-month ban on oil exports to countries that abide by the price cap, a move likely to make the pain more acute in Europe.
The economic damage has made it impossible for Putin to get the support he needed among Russians who remember the chaotic years that followed the collapse of the USSR.
When it comes to Russia’s military campaign, there’s no outward change in the government’s tone. Russia’s Defense Ministry provides daily briefings recounting endless successes on the ground. Everything is “going according to plan” according to Putin.
Yet the sheer length of the war — with no immediate Russian victory in sight — suggests Russia vastly underestimated Ukrainians’ willingness to resist.
Ukrainian capital Kyiv has been unable to conquer Russian troops. Kherson, the sole major city seized by Russia, was abandoned amid a Ukrainian counteroffensive in November. Russian forces have shelled the city repeatedly since retreating.
Russia’s illegal annexation of four territories of Ukraine following unrecognized referendums in September has only underscored Moscow’s problems: it hasn’t been able to establish full control over the lands it now claims as its own.
The number of Russian losses is officially under 6,000 men but is not discussed at home. Western estimates place those figures much higher.
Russia’s ability to defend its own strategic infrastructure has been put under question by a series of explosions along a bridge that connected Russia to the peninsula.
Indeed, Russia’s invasion has — thus far — backfired in its primary aims: NATO looks set to expand towards Russia’s borders, with the addition of long-neutral states Finland and Sweden.
Longtime allies in Central Asia have criticized Russia’s actions out of concern for their own sovereignty, an affront that would have been unthinkable in Soviet times. India and China have eagerly purchased discounted Russian oil, but have stopped short of full-throated support for Russia’s military campaign.
The status of the Russian war in Ukraine: F-16 fighter planes from Germany and a rocket battery from the UK for the next big press conference
A state of the nation address was scheduled for April, but was repeatedly delayed and will not happen until next year. Putin’s annual “direct line” — a media event in which Putin fields questions from ordinary Russians — was canceled outright.
An annual December big press conference, which allows the Russian leader to handle questions from mostly pro-Kremlin media, was also tabled until 2023.
The Kremlin doesn’t have a reason for the delays. After 10 months of war and no sign of victory, the Russian leader seems to have run out of good news to share.
Having secured a commitment of tanks and armored fighting vehicles in January, Ukrainian officials immediately moved to the next item on their wish list: fighter planes. President Biden has said he is opposed to sending U.S.-made F-16 jets to Ukraine, and other allies have also appeared reluctant. Last week, Britain said it would begin training Ukrainian pilots on Western jets.
Biden affirmed the new commitment during his call with the German Chancellor. New fighting vehicles and a missile battery will be sent from Germany to the Ukrainians.
Those systems had been at the top of Zelensky’s wish list because it will allow his military to target Russian missiles flying at a higher altitude than they were able to target previously.
The Russian War, Makiivka, and the Kremlin Crisis: Comments on a CNN Contributor and Author of A Red Line in the Sand
David A.Andelman is a CNN contributor and author of A Red Line in the Sand: Diplomacy, Strategy, and the History of Wars that Might Still Happen. He formerly was a correspondent for The New York Times and CBS News in Europe and Asia. The views that he gives are his own. CNN has more opinion.
He’s not the only Russian war blogger casting doubt. “As expected, the blame for what happened in Makiivka began to be placed on the soldiers themselves,” said a post on the Telegram channel known as “Grey Zone,” linked to longtime Kremlin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner Group of mercenaries. It is a lie and an attempt to throw off the blame.
The Orthodox Christmas holiday gave President Putin the excuse to ask for a truce after the deadliest known attack on Russian servicemen. The move was rightly dismissed by Ukraine and the US as a cynical attempt to seek breathing space amid a very bad start to the year for Russian forces.
Russian officials said that Ukrainian-launched rockets hit a school where the forces of the Russian military were housed. (Another two HIMARS rockets were shot down by Russian air defenses).
Chris Dougherty, a senior fellow for the Defense Program and co-head of the Gaming Lab at the Center for New American Security in Washington, has told me that Russia’s failure to break up or move large arms depots is largely a function of the reality that their forces cannot communicate adequately.
It’s a view shared by other experts. “Bad communications security seems to be standard practice in the Russian Army,” James Lewis, director of the Strategic Technologies Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), told me in an e-mail exchange.
The soldiers killed in Makiivka seem to have been conscripts, and part of a larger picture of Russian soldiers shipped to the front lines with little training and shoddy equipment.
Indeed, a number of the most recent arrivals to the war are inmates from Russian prisons, freed and transferred immediately to the Ukrainian front. One can only imagine how appealing the use of cell phones would be to prisoners accustomed to years of isolation with little or no contact with the outside world.
The Makiivka Attack and the State of the Defense Ministry: State Dept. Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, and Defense Secretary, Kirill McCarthy
The errors by the Russian military are now becoming so blatant, and as the Makiivka attack shows, so deadly to Russian forces, that some of Putin’s most ardent apologists have now begun turning on the military establishment.
Semyon Pegov, who blogs under the alias WarGonzo and was personally awarded the Order of Courage by President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin two weeks ago, attacked the Ministry of Defense for its “blatant attempt to smear blame” in suggesting it was the troops’ own use of cell phones that led to the precision of the attack.
The location of soldiers who were staying in a school building was believed to be so certain that they could not have been located using any method other than drones.
In February, the Defense Ministry underwent a change when the deputy defense minister was promoted to the rank of general. The arms depot is near the Makiivka recruits and it would likely have been on his watch.
Still, Putin-favorite Sergei Shoigu remains defense minister — as recently as Saturday, before the Makiivka attack, telling his forces in a celebratory video: “Our victory, like the New Year, is inevitable.”
How long Putin can insulate himself and prevent the blame from turning on himself is the key question in the wake of Makiivka. There is no sign that Ukrainian forces will reduce the pressure on their Russians as the war enters a new year.
The administration announced a new $2.85 billion drawdown for Ukraine, part of more than $3 billion in new military assistance to Ukraine. The drawdown, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday, will include “Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, artillery systems, armored personnel carriers, surface to air missiles, ammunition, and other items to support Ukraine as it bravely defends its people, its sovereignty, and its territorial integrity.”
Blinken said the administration would work with Congress to “to provide an additional $907 million of Foreign Military Financing under the Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022.”
As many of those who fought McCarthy have previously spoken out against additional assistance for Kyiv, one diplomat believes the situation definitely signals trouble for Ukraine aid.
Two of the Republicans who had opposed McCarthy until Friday afternoon – Florida Rep. Byron Donalds and Texas Rep. Chip Roy – had called on the House to change leadership and debate rules over Ukraine aid. Other Ukraine aid skeptics have continued to oppose McCarthy’s bid.
Several Republican members who switched their votes to support McCarthy on Friday said they are encouraged by a framework of an agreement, but provided no details about the deal.
The number of subsea votes is a harbinger for legislative paralysis in the US, but it isn’t an insurance policy
That number was even higher than President Joe Biden requested – a reflection of Democrats’ concern that additional funding wouldn’t be as forthcoming in a GOP-led House. The White House felt that the number was an insurance policy and that it would sustain US support for several months.
“This is a harbinger for a protracted legislative paralysis,” the diplomat said, adding that “the Freedom Caucus – which is not particularly pro-Ukrainian – has just demonstrated its clout.”
McCarthy would make certain maneuvers to win the role which could cause cuts to aid.
Another diplomat told CNN they’re personally concerned about “the policy concessions McCarthy has to make, and if they are going to affect US role in the world.”
The House Rules Committee and other important committees could be given concessions to lawmakers who have opposed additional aid forUkraine, which would make it more difficult to pass additional assistance legislation.
Russia reasoned that if Washington blocked Nord Stream 2, which it ultimately did, then it would show that European power no longer flowed through Berlin, but actually via the White House.
The United States didn’t want the new, high-capacity subsea supply to supplant old overland lines that transited Ukraine, providing vital revenue to the increasingly Westward-leaning leadership in Kyiv.
Russia’s ambassador to Germany said Berlin’s move to send tanks was “extremely dangerous” and accused Scholz of refusing “to acknowledge its [Germany’s] historic accountability to our people for the horrific crimes of Nazism.” The White House and Biden were accused of being intent on winning the war against Russia by Washington.
Europe has not acted quickly to respond to the fissures in US politics that could result in another Trump presidency. Decades of a reasonably unshakable reliance, if not complete trust, in the US, has been replaced by stubborn European pragmatism – and Germany leads the way.
Former Chancellor Merkel was Europe’s moral compass. He flashed a rare moment of steely leadership in Germany when he won thunderous applause for his ponderous and often stop/go/Wait traffic-light governing coalition.
The war in Ukraine, the news of the pro-Moscow war, and the fate of the future of the European military service: Analogy to the news from Putin
He said that they wouldn’t put you in danger. He spelled out how his government had already handled Russia’s aggression and how fears of a freezing winter and economic collapse were not realized. “The government dealt with the crisis,” he said, adding: “We are in a much better position.”
He said a lot but the applause at his steps spoke louder than his words. Scholz proved to be a perfect fit for Germany, bringing with him a population normally reticent to war and projecting their own power, while also deeply divided over how much they should aid the pro-Moscow regime in Ukraine.
CNN spoke with some people that thought the announcements by Biden and Scholz on tanks confused them. Some said Russia would win regardless, and lumped the US and Germany together as the losers, but a significant proportion were worried about the war, dismayed at the heavy death toll and frustrated that Putin ignored their concerns.
How much Scholz is aware of Putin’s softening popularity or whether he believes it relevant at this moment is unclear, but his actions now, sending tanks, may help ease Putin’s iron grip on power.
Longer debates about the next military moves for Ukraine could be coming and will likely signal to Zelensky that weapons supplies will be on more of a German leash, and less unilaterally led by Washington.
This shift in the power dynamic might not change the way wars are fought, but it could affect the outcome of a final deal and cause a lasting peace to come.
The news that the UK is extending its training program for fighter jets will likely be welcomed by the government in Kyiv.
NPR’s State of Ukraine: a look inside the Russian/U.S. diplomatic diplomatic diplomatic conflict over Ukraine’s invasion of Soledar
The International Monetary Fund releases its latest World Economic Outlook on Tuesday morning in Singapore. The IMF has stressed that the Russia-Ukraine war is a big factor causing economic slowdown and recession in some countries.
European Commission leaders are expected to visit Ukranian on Thursday and European Union leaders are going to meet with the president of that country the following day.
The Russian takeover of Soledar caused the Ukrainian military to retreat from the eastern town. Russian forces continued their offensive around the region of eastern Ukraine.
New U.S. Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy arrived in Moscow, at a time of strong tensions between the two governments over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Tracy entered the Russian Foreign Ministry to give her credentials and was heckled by protesters.
Russia’s ambassadors in the two Baltic states were told to leave after the Kremlin said it had pulled out its ambassador from the country over “Russophobia.”
You can read past recaps here. You can find more of NPR’s coverage here. You can get updates throughout the day by listening to NPR’s State of Ukraine.
How fast can we train F-16 fighter jets in Ukraine? The Russian Defense Minister Vladimir Reznikov, the Defense Minister, and the Defense Ministry
“My understanding is that there are training courses we can do in Europe,” Reznikov says. It’s easier because we have to use the same landscape and have the same weather conditions.
Training for Leopard tanks is usually half a year. He says he hopes it will be done in a month or two months.
The F-16 fighter jets are impractical and impractical because of the danger posed by Russia’s anti-aircraft systems, US and European officials told CNN.
The US President stated on January 30th that Washington will not send F16 fighter jets to Ukraine, and the German Chancellor stated that he does not intend to provide warplanes to Kyiv.
In the past Western allies have turned down requests for weapons for practical reasons, such as difficulty in finding spare parts. He says that when he asks allies about the F-16, they mention the long training period for Ukrainian pilots. He says he can demonstrate that Ukrainian troops can carry out very intensive training in a shorter period of time.
Most of the defense ministry expenses were public. Now most are classified for security reasons. He is trying to make the military’s expenditures more transparent and believes that it is a delicate issue during wartime.
Ukrain, Russia, and Poland need fighter jets, not long-range missiles: Ukraine’s stance on the F-16 mission
He said that he will do it, but it was not a piece of cake. “My principle is zero tolerance with corruption.” We have to be a new Ukraine, with the European standard and not the old fashioned Soviet Ukraine with a history of corruption.
The Ukrainians stood their ground. On Tuesday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Ukraine needs the fighter jets “first and foremost,” along with long-range missiles.
The UK, meanwhile, believes that the fighter jets “are extremely sophisticated and take months to learn how to fly,” a British government spokesperson told reporters on Tuesday. “Given that, we believe it is not practical to send those jets into Ukraine.”
The Biden administration’s decision to give the flagship American battle tank to the Ukrainians was reminiscent of one year ago, when everyone rejected it, according to the official.
The Ukrainian military official, who spoke to CNN, said he did not think fighter jets are as easy as a long-range missile would be.
“We are providing them what we think they are capable of operating, maintaining, and sustaining,” deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh said last week. “The F-16 – this is a very complicated system.”
Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, also appeared reluctant, telling reporters on Monday that sending the planes “would really be a big next step if it comes to that.” And Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki indicated on Monday that Warsaw would only send its fighter jets “in full coordination” with its NATO partners.
The Air War in Ukraine and the Role of Drones in Iraq and the Middle East: a View from a Top Ukrainian National Security Official
A top Ukrainian national security official has claimed that Russia is ready for a “maximum escalation” of the war in Ukraine.
“These will be defining months in the war,” Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told Sky News in an interview broadcast Tuesday.
“Not just on land, but on the sea and in air as well,” Natalia Humeniuk, head of the United Coordinating Press Center of Security and Defense Forces of the South of Ukraine, said on national television.
The ministry said military representatives from the two countries would practice planning the use of troops based on previous conflicts.
Yet one thing makes this battle distinctive from all previous air wars of the past century: pilots are rare. It goes against the traditional view of air combat.
The film “Top Gun: Maverick” is up for an Oscar this year. And here we are, watching an air war happening. And it looks very different from anything that we see in Top Gun,” said Kelly Grieco, with the Stimson Center, a Washington think tank.
There are planes that are still flying. Grieco, who keeps close tabs on the air war, said that there are only a few sorties compared to past wars.
He knows these tenets well. Gersten flew combat missions as an F-16 pilot early in his career, and later commanded U.S. drone operations in the Middle East. The US uses drones in the Iraq and Afghanistan air campaigns. But piloted U.S. war planes played a significant role in those conflicts as well, and the U.S. alone dominated the skies.
The use of small drones is moving quickly through the budgets and thinking of the defense forces around the world. It is only for war fighting, but also for medical and humanitarian aid.
An American aid group that couldn’t get their ambulances into besieged cities asked us if we could use our drones, Chell said.
Combat aircraft for Ukraine. Wings for freedom,” PM Rishi Sunak told Westminster Hall in response to the UK refusal to send fighter jets
Zelensky also met with Ukrainian troops being trained by British forces on Wednesday, telling a press conference that his battlefield priority is for Ukraine to obtain more weapons.
“I trust this symbol will help us for our next coalition, coalition of the planes. And I appeal to you and the world with simple and yet most important words: Combat aircraft for Ukraine. Wings for freedom.”
Zelensky’s message was directed firmly at Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and members of the Cabinet standing in front of him in the historic surroundings of Westminster Hall – the oldest part of of the Palace of Westminster, where the late Queen Elizabeth lay in state and where US President Obama stood for a similar address in 2011.
Sunak welcomed Zelensky at the airport north of London after he disembarked from the C17 plane. Sunak tweeted a picture of the pair embracing on the runway. A caption says “Welcome to the UK, President ZelenskyGloryyUa.”
Zelensky made a telegram post after his audience with the King that wished peace and prosperity to the British people.
“I am grateful to His Majesty for the warm welcome and for supporting Ukrainian citizens who have taken refuge from the war in the United Kingdom,” Zelensky said.
“We have no way out. We have to stand firm. We need armored vehicles, we need tanks, we need fighter jets, and obviously, we spent a lot of time talking about this together,” said Zelensky, speaking alongside Sunak at Lulworth Camp in Dorset, England.
The UK has so far refused to send its Typhoon or F-35 fighter jets to Ukraine, saying it was not “the right approach.” Hopes that there will be a shift in attitude were raised by Wednesday’s announcement. The UK also said it will provide Ukraine with “longer-range capabilities,” Downing Street said, without going into details.
“I think you can see from the steps that we are taking that we are willing to put Ukraine in the position where, once we have reached the goals of training pilots, they are able to fly these type of jets,” said the PM’s spokesman. “What we have not made a decision on is whether we send UK fighter jets. Obviously there is an ongoing discussion among other countries about their own fighter jets, some of which are more akin to what Ukrainian pilots are used to.”
Zelensky responded that he wasn’t aware it took three years to train a pilot like that. We will send pilots who have already trained for two and a half years.
The Russian Embassy in London and the NATO Security Threat on Ukraine: A Case Study for the UK Aircraft Supply Crisis After the Russia-Brazil War
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace is investigating which aircraft could be given to Ukraine, but Downing Street maintained no decision has yet been taken on whether to supply the jets.
The Russian embassy in London described the trip as a “hasty event,” “theatrical performance,” and a “fundraising event,” mocking Zelensky as an “ex-comedian in a green sweatshirt,” in a statement to CNN.
“We would like to remind London: in the event of such a scenario the death toll of yet another round of escalation, as well as and its military-political consequences for the European continent and the whole world will be on the United Kingdom’s hands,” the embassy said.
The UK package targets a number of entities and individuals that provide military equipment such as drones, as well as some entities and individuals that are related to secretive financial networks that help maintain wealth and power among Kremlin elites.
The UK government has already imposed sanctions on hundreds of Russian individuals and entities since last February when Russia invaded Ukraine, according to UK government data.
The war in Ukraine was not mentioned in President Biden’s speech, despite the Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. attending it for the second year in a row.
There’s “strong indication” Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the go-ahead to supply anti-aircraft weapons to separatists in Ukraine, according to the international team investigating the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in 2014.
It was because of decades of budget cuts that policy makers kept a low stock on the assumption that there would not be a land war like they had in World War I or II.
On Monday night, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters ahead of a meeting of alliance officials that “the current rate of Ukraine’s ammunition expenditure is many times higher than our current rate of production – this puts our defense industries under strain.”
“The combination of no immediate threat and the financial pressures on European governments over the past couple of decades led to a conspiracy of dressing the shop window while letting the stockroom empty out,” said Nick Witney, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
Policymakers often base their decisions on assumptions of the best-case scenario, according to the upcoming ammunition crisis. After all, taking no action, in the short-term at least, is often cheaper than taking action.
Cherevaty, Kirby, K”ahler and Austin: “No fighter jets to make today” — a comment on the U.S. defense secretary
A spokesman for the armed forces, Col. Serhiy Cherevaty, said on Ukrainian television that soldiers need to keep their focus on building defensive lines. He said that part of the reason for the ban on civilians entering the city was to keep military operations a secret.
Bakhmut has little strategic value for either Moscow or Kyiv, as a prize. Its significance comes more from the amount of blood spilled to claim it.
John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council, stated that even if Bakhmut were to fall, it would not have a significant impact on the war. “I would go so far as to say it won’t even have necessarily a strategic impact on the fighting in that part of the country.”
Western officials were unwilling to comment about whether Ukraine would be able to secure more powerful weapons against Russia.
Asked in Brussels on Tuesday whether fighter jets had been discussed, Mr. Austin, the American defense secretary, said, “I don’t have any announcement to make today.”