Russia accused the U.S. of having a proxy war in Ukraine when Zelenskyy visited

How Russian Foreign Military Soldiers Metastasized in the Kremlin: Why is Russia Faking Crimea During the First World War?

The Russian military would act if there were threats to Russian security from there, including the four occupied regions of Ukraine which Russia claimed to annex illegally.

“We do not feel desperate … we are more sure even than before that Ukraine will win and we need it as fast as possible because … only after we win in this war and only after Russia is defeated, we will have our peace back here.”

Andrey Kortunov, who runs the Kremlin-backed Russian International Affairs Council in Moscow, sees it, too. He told CNN that President Putin wants it to end quickly.

More than seven months into the war, the “genius” myth has unraveled. During the past two weeks, at least 200,000 Russian men have voted with their feet to flee Putin’s partial mobilization order. They understand – despite the Herculean efforts of Putin’s propagandists – that this war is a bloodbath Russia is losing.

Independent Russian media quoting Russia’s revamped KGB, the FSB, put the total exodus even higher. More military age men have left the country than have yet fought in the war since they were drafted, according to a new report.

Russia has complained about these deliveries often, but was relatively quiet about the crossing of what, if it had been a red lines, would have been considered.

Kortunov says he doesn’t know what goes on in the Kremlin but that he understands the public mood over the huge costs and loss of life in the war. “Many people would start asking questions, why did we get into this mess? Why, you know, we lost so many people.”

He used the same playbook annexing Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and now, like then, threatens potential nuclear strikes should Ukraine, backed by its Western allies, try to take the annexed territories back.

Western leaders are in a battle of brinksmanship with Putin. Last Sunday US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told NBC’s “Meet the Press” Washington would respond decisively if Russia deployed nuclear weapons against Ukraine and has made clear to Moscow the “catastrophic consequences” it would face.

Explosive Seismology of War-Breaking: An Insight into the Planck-Storage of Ukraine’s Nuclear Infrastructure

Both Danish and Swedish seismologists recorded explosive shockwaves from close to the seabed: the first, at around 2 a.m. local time, hitting 2.3 magnitude, then again, at around 7 p.m., registering 2.1.

The area was secured by Danes, Germans, and Norway within an hour, as well as increased security surrounding its oil and gas facilities.

The Nord Stream pipeline sabotage could, according to Hill, be a last roll of the dice by Putin, so that “there’s no kind of turning back on the gas issues. Europe can no longer build up its gas reserves in the winter. Putin is throwing everything at this right now.

Russian naval vessels were seen by European security officials in the area in the days prior, Western intelligence sources have said. NATO’s North Atlantic Council has described the damage as a “deliberate, reckless and irresponsible act of sabotage.”

As Europe rushed to replenish gas reserves before winter, Putin throttled back demand for Russian supplies, and the search for replacement providers went on in the background.

On the battlefield, Ukraine has retaken key cities and shown unlikely resistance to an unprepared and ill-equipped Russian army. Russian President Vladimir Putin has been ruthless in targeting civilian energy infrastructure in order to make life difficult for Ukraine during the cold winter.

Putin is trying to erode support by Foreign leaders leaning on Zelensky to consider a deal with Russia in order to strengthen his position.

With Scholz shouldering his way to the diplomatic helm, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky may find his territorial ambitions to restore the entirety of Ukraine’s sovereignty including Crimea, before peace talks with Putin, constrained. The German chancellor has been at the forefront of friendly leaders wanting a speedy end to the war and the restoration of economic stability to Europe.

Alperovitch says that the likelihood of Putin using a nuke is low. It can’t be brushed under the rug. He paints this possible scenario: “If he does use it, I think he’s going to do a demonstration strike in a remote area, perhaps over the Black Sea, in the hopes that the West would somehow pressure Kyiv to come to the negotiations.”

WASHINGTON — For all his threats to fire tactical nuclear arms at Ukrainian targets, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia is now discovering what the United States itself concluded years ago, American officials suspect: Small nuclear weapons are hard to use, harder to control and a far better weapon of terror and intimidation than a weapon of war.

U.S. officials say that the primary utility is part of a last-ditch attempt by Mr. Putin to stop the Ukrainian counteroffensive. Some of the most sensitive discussions inside the administration were described by officials on the condition of anonymity.

But with the ability to target major Ukrainian cities, including the capital, Russia has shown that it can still cause immense damage and dislocation. Russia and Ukraine conflict are one of the most dangerous phases since 2014; Monday’s strikes increased the danger. Tensions were already high from Putin’s earlier statements suggesting that tactical nuclear weapons remain on the table.

EUREKA, Mo. — Martin Zlatev, who was a partner in a limousine company, recently sought a new business opportunity, selling $30 million worth of rockets to the Ukrainian military.

They recently wrote to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. They outlined a plan to sell American, Bulgarian and Bosnian arms to Ukraine.

More than 1,400 anti-air systems have been transferred to Ukraine from the US according to a senior administration official. We enabled our Allies to transfer air defense systems of their own to Ukraine – including Slovakia’s transfer of a critical S-300 system in April. President Biden announced an assistance package for the country in August that had 8 orders for NASAMS. We will continue to provide Ukraine with what it needs to defend itself.”

WASHINGTON — United States intelligence agencies believe parts of the Ukrainian government authorized the car bomb attack near Moscow in August that killed Daria Dugina, the daughter of a prominent Russian nationalist, an element of a covert campaign that U.S. officials fear could widen the conflict.

The United States did not take part in the attack because they provided intelligence or other assistance. American officials would have objected to the killing had they been consulted about the operation. Afterward, American officials admonished Ukrainian officials over the assassination, they said.

The Cost of Chaos: The Kremlin of Putin and the Invasion of the Donetsk Region: The Perspective from a CNN National Security Analyst

CNN national security analyst, a vice president at New America, and a professor of practice at Arizona State University is Peter Bergen. Bergen is the author of “The Cost of Chaos: The Trump Administration and the World.” The views expressed in this commentary are his own. CNN has more opinions on it.

The time couldn’t have been worse. Putin lost Lyman just as he was publicly declaring that the Donetsk region – in which Lyman sits – was now annexed by Russia.

Against a man who probes for weakness and tends to exploit divisions, the most important thing for the West right now is to show unity and resolve. Western governments also need to realize that rhetoric and sanctions have little if no impact on Putin’s actions. Even if sending military experts closer to the battlefield is necessary to speed up the introduction of high technology weaponry, they need to continue to arm Ukrainians.

He continues to hold that attempts by certain countries to rewrite and destroy world history are growing bolder, and that they are attempting to divide our society and weaken Russia.

To try to defend the indefensible, Putin propagated a false narrative that the invasion was necessary to “de-Nazify” and demilitarize Ukraine. He claimed that Ukraine was engaged in a “genocide” against Russians and Russian-speakers and was on the verge of attacking Russia itself – hence Moscow’s “Special Military Operation.”

The soviets had a plan to install a puppet government in Afghanistan and then leave the country as soon as feasible, according to a book called the “Afghan Crucible” by historian Elisabeth Leake.

During the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, the US was initially reluctant to escalate its support for the Afghan resistance, fearing a wider conflict with the Soviet Union. It took until 1986 for the CIA to arm the Afghans with highly effective anti-aircraft Stinger missiles, which ended the Soviets’ total air superiority, eventually forcing them to withdraw from Afghanistan three years later.

As the war approaches its first anniversary later this month, Ukraine has kept the pressure on Western leaders to provide more advanced and longer-range weaponry to defend and fight back against Russia. In January the US, Britain, and Germany all agreed to send battle tanks, but now the Ukrainian government wants fighter jets.

The Ukrainians were aided in their fight against the Russians thanks to American-supplied anti-tank Javelin missiles and high Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).

Vladimir Putin in Ukraine: The femtomory of Armageddon as predicted by the United States during and after the First World War

Putin is also surely aware that the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 was hastened by the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan two years earlier.

The Romanov monarchy was weakened by the loss of the Russian in the 1905 war with Japan. Czar Nicholas II’s feckless leadership during the First World War then precipitated the Russian Revolution in 1917. Many of the Romanov family was killed by a Bolshevik firing squad.

On February 22 – just two days before Russia’s invasion – former US President Donald Trump, who has always fawned over Putin, publicly said that the Russian autocrat was “genius” and “savvy” for declaring two regions of eastern Ukraine independent and moving his troops there in a prelude to full-blown invasion.

A year ago, this conference focused on China. No one was talking about Russia invading Ukraine. This time, the theme was the war in Ukraine, and how it might end.

Putin’s gamble may lead to a third dissolution of the Russian empire, which happened first in 1917 as the First World War wound down, and again in 1991 after the fall of the Soviet Union.

On Thursday night, President Biden mentioned that the world may be facing the prospect of Armageddon if President Putin uses a tactical nuclear weapon.

The lack of any new intelligence and the grim language Biden used caught several senior US officials by surprise.

President Joe Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday after a deluge of Russian missiles targeted cities across Ukraine, condemning the strikes and pledging continued US security assistance “including advanced air defense systems.”

Biden’s remarks serve as a window into a very real, very ongoing discussion inside his administration as the seek to calibrate the response to that environment.

His remarks are usually only slotted for 10 minutes but in the past he has stretched to half an hour or more, expounding on various topics. After Biden’s remarks, reporters are ushered out and Biden takes questions from donors.

His logic came right out of the Cuban Missile Crisis, to which Mr. Biden referred twice in his comments at a Democratic fund-raiser in New York, a good indication of what is on his mind. Sixty years ago this month, the closest the world came to a full nuclear exchange, President John F. Kennedy struck a secret bargain with Nikita Khrushchev to remove American missiles from Turkey.

The President’s use of Armageddon served to illustrate that point – there’s no escalation ladder when it comes to nuclear weapons, tactical or otherwise. Any move in that direction sets off a cascading response that only has one outcome.

The speech strengthened the US view of Russian weakness and isolation, but it also raised more concerns about Putin’s willingness to escalate beyond a rational actor.

There are no plans to address the remarks in isolation as of Friday morning, since White House officials decided not to say anything publicly Thursday night. If Biden wants to address it himself, it will be apparent when he departs for his Maryland event later in the morning, one official said.

US officials have not seen a change in posture or intelligence that raises the threat level above where it has been.

There have been direct communications to Moscow in the last several weeks detailing the scale of the US response should Putin decide to go down that path. Those details remain closely held, and officials say that won’t change any time soon.

With that deal, which came to light only later, a disaster that could have killed tens of millions of Americans and untold numbers of Soviet citizens was averted.

Europe’s challenge now is to deal with Russia in a state of chaotic denial, while hoping it evolves into a state of managed decline. One abiding comfort may be that, after underestimating Moscow’s potential for malice, the risk for Europe would be to overstate its potential as a threat.

The rubble in a remote village: Ukraine’s worst attack since the 1991 conflict between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan

On the mountain-flanked steppes of southwestern Kyrgyzstan, the result in just one remote village has been devastating: homes reduced to rubble, a burned-out school and a gut-wrenching stench emanating from the rotting carcasses of 24,000 dead chickens.

All fell victim last month to the worst violence to hit the area since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union — a brief but bloody border conflict between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, both members of a Russia-led military alliance dedicated to preserving peace but which did nothing to halt the mayhem.

The president of Ukrainian 888-269-5556 888-269-5556 888-269-5556 888-269-5556 888-269-5556 888-269-5556 888-269-5556 888-269-5556 888-269-5556 888-269-5556 888-269-5556 888-269-5556 and Russian missiles rained down on Ukrainian cities last week, and Zelensky said on his verified account that there was another kind of Russian terrorist attacks. In the last ten days, 30% of the power stations in the country have been destroyed.

Russian retaliation – an onslaught of missile attacks – has expanded as Ukrainian forces have continued to push back Russian units and reclaim territory seized in the early days of the war.

The attacks were not a surprise since Sunday, Russian President Putin accused the Ukranian government of attacking the bridge.

“It is simply impossible to leave such crimes unanswered,” Putin said in a brief television appearance on Monday. Russia will respond in scale to threats to the Russian Federation if attempts were to carry out terrorist attacks on our territory.

For several hours on Monday, the subway system in Kyiv was shut down. There was an air raid alert in the city, but it was lifted at midday as rescue workers tried to pull people out of the rubble.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Demys Shmygal, Secretary of State Emergency Services, and Security Minister Sergey Aksyonov, on the Crimea “Terrorist Attack”

Demys Shmygal, Ukraine’s Prime Minister, said Monday that as of 11 a.m. local time, a total of 11 “crucial infrastructure facilities” in eight regions had been damaged.

As of Monday afternoon, the electricity supply had been cut in Lviv, Poltava, Sumy, and Ternopil, said the Ukrainian State Emergency Services. In the rest of the country, electricity was partially disrupted.

Putin held an operational meeting of his Security Council on Monday, a day after he called the explosions on the Crimea bridge a “terrorist attack” and said the organizers and executors were “Ukrainian special services.”

The Russian-appointed head of annexed Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, said he had “good news” Monday, claiming that Russia’s approaches to what it calls its special military operation in Ukraine “have changed.”

“I have been saying from the first day of the special military operation that if such actions to destroy the enemy’s infrastructure had been taken every day, we would have finished everything in May and the Kyiv regime would have been defeated,” he added.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Telegram that they were trying to wipe them off the face of the earth. “That’s it, in a nutshell. They are trying to slaughter our people who are sleeping in their homes in Zaporizhzhia. They are trying to kill people who are on their way to work.

NATO has largely been united in its support of the resistance of Ukraine during the first ten months of the war.

“Again, Putin is massively terrorizing innocent civilians in Kyiv and other cities,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said. The Netherlands condemns these acts. Putin does not seem to understand that the will of the Ukrainian people is unbreakable.”

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the attacks were unacceptable and that civilians were paying the highest price.

Unveiling Ukrainian Power and Infrastructure Explosions in the Early Days of the First World War: President Volodymyr Zelensky and the German Chancellor

An emergency meeting of the GSeven nations will take place via a video conference on Tuesday, Zelensky said on his website, and the office of the German Chancellor confirmed it to CNN.

Editor’s Note: Michael Bociurkiw (@WorldAffairsPro) is a global affairs analyst. He is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and a former spokesman for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He is a regular contributor to CNN Opinion. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. CNN gives you more opinion.

Unverified video on social media showed hits near the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and close to Maidan Square, just a short stroll from the Presidential Office Building. Ukrainian officials said that five people were killed as a result of strikes on the capital.

The area around my Odesa workplace remained quiet when there were air raid sirens, with reports of missiles and drones being shot down. At this time of the day, nearby restaurants would be packed with customers and chatter of plans for upcoming weddings and parties.

The attacks came only a few hours after Zaporizhzhia, which is near the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, was hit with multiple strikes on apartment buildings. Many people were killed and injured.

In a video filmed outside his office Monday, a defiant President Volodymyr Zelensky said it appeared many of the 100 or so missile strikes across Ukraine were aimed at the country’s energy infrastructure. At least 11 important infrastructure facilities in eight regions and the capital have been damaged; some provinces are without power, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said.

In scenes reminiscent of the early days of the war when Russian forces neared the capital, some Kyiv media outlets temporarily moved their operations to underground bomb shelters. A group of people took cover on platforms in the metro station as a small group sang patriotic Ukrainian songs.

Indeed, millions of people in cities across Ukraine will be spending most of the day in bomb shelters, at the urging of officials, while businesses have been asked to shift work online as much as possible.

Just as many regions of Ukraine were starting to roar back to life, and with countless asylum seekers returning home, the attacks risk causing another blow to business confidence.


The Explosion of Putin’s Highway Bridge: What Do We Want to Tell Them? How Will We Wait Out the U.S., China, and India

dictators seem to like hardwiring newly claimed territory with expensive infrastructure projects. Putin personally opened Europe’s longest bridge by driving a truck across it. The world’s longest sea crossing bridge was built to connect the former British and Portuguese territories after Beijing reclaimed Macau and Hong Kong. The road bridge has been delayed for about two years.

The explosion lit up social media, with funny parodies that lit up channels like Christmas trees. They shared their joy through text messages.

The world had the opportunity to see the message. Putin doesn’t want to be humiliated. He won’t admit defeat. And he is quite prepared to inflict civilian carnage and indiscriminate terror in response to his string of battlefield reversals.

Putin has been placed on thin ice because of increasing criticism at home, and it was an act of desperation.

The Russians want to wait out Ukrainians and make sure the front is stable. We’ll wait out NATO, we’ll wait out the United States.”

What is crucially important now is for Washington and other allies to use urgent telephone diplomacy to urge China and India – which presumably still have some leverage over Putin – to resist the urge to use even more deadly weapons.

High-tech Defenses to Ukraine: American Response to Zelensky’s Threats and Moscow’s Commitment on the Russian Embassy in Ukraine

The country has vital energy infrastructure and high tech defense systems are needed to protect it. The need to protect heating systems is urgent as winter nears.

The time has also come for the West to further isolate Russia with trade and travel restrictions – but for that to have sufficient impact, Turkey and Gulf states, which receive many Russian tourists, need to be pressured to come on board.

These measures will not be enough to prevent Putin from continuing his violence and the humanitarian crisis it will cause throughout Europe. A weak reaction will be taken as a sign in the Kremlin that it can continue to weaponize energy, migration and food.

President Joe Biden Monday spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and offered advanced air systems that would help defend against Russian air attacks, but the White House did not specify exactly what might be sent.

Pentagon Press Secretary said Thursday that the system would beprovocative. The comments of Gen. Pat Ryder won’t affect US aid to Ukraine.

NASAMS had not been delivered to Ukraine by late September, according to the Department of Defense. At the time, Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said two systems were expected to be delivered in the next two months, with the remaining six to arrive at an undetermined date.

A number of Biden’s top lieutenants, including the Secretary of State and Defense Secretary, have visited the Ukrainian capital to pledge new assistance. A group of senior administration officials, including the CIA Director, visited Kyiv last month.

Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, also recently said he thinks Moscow should aim for the “complete dismantling” of Zelensky’s “regime.”

John Kirby, the coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council, suggested Washington was looking favorably on Ukraine’s requests and was in touch with the government in Kyiv almost every day. “We do the best we can in subsequent packages to meet those needs,” he told CNN’s Kate Bolduan.

“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.”

U.S. response to the Kiev rush-hour attack on Monday: What did Putin really do to destroy Ukrainian cities, or what Putin really wanted to do?

The attacks took away the semblance of a normal life that the city dwellers managed to restore after the war in the subways.

The targets on Monday only had little military value because of Putin’s inability to impose his will on the battlefield.

The bombing of power installations seemed to be a hint of misery that the president could cause as winter sets in, even though his forces retreat in the face of Ukrainian troops.

The deadly attacks on civilians, in which at least 14 people were killed, caused new attention to what steps the US and its allies should take, as well as how they will respond after already sending billions of dollars of arms and kits to Ukraine.

Kirby was also unable to say whether Putin was definitively shifting his strategy from a losing battlefield war to a campaign to pummel civilian morale and inflict devastating damage on Ukrainian cities and infrastructure, though he suggested it was a trend developing in recent days and had already been in the works.

It was likely something that they had been planning for a while. Now that’s not to say that the explosion on the Crimea bridge might have accelerated some of their planning,” Kirby said.

An onslaught on civilians would be consistent with the resume of the new Russian general in charge of the war, Sergey Surovikin, who served in Syria and Chechnya. Russia has been accused of committing serious human rights violations in both places.

But French President Emmanuel Macron underscored Western concerns that Monday’s rush-hour attacks in Ukraine could be the prelude to another pivot in the conflict.

As we approach the winter, he was telegraphing where he was going. He wants to force the Ukrainian population to give up territory by taking this infrastructure, Vindman said.

If we had modern equipment, we may be able to raise the number of the drones and missiles downed and not kill innocent civilians or hurt Ukrainians.

The lesson of this horrible war is that everything Putin has done to fracture a nation he doesn’t believe has the right to exist has only strengthened and unified it.

Olena Gnes, a mother of three who is documenting the war on YouTube, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper live from her basement in Ukraine on Monday that she was angry at the return of fear and violence to the lives of Ukrainians from a new round of Russian “terror.”

She said this is just another terror to cause panic, to scare you guys in other countries or to show to his own people that he is still a bloody tyrant.

The Cipher Brief Conference Summary: “Are the Russian Occupiers Really Fighting in Kiev?” by Martin Zelensky, A.R. Kolbe and David Petraeus

That is not to say that mobilized forces are useless. If used in support roles, like drivers or refuelers, they might ease the burden on the remaining parts of Russia’s exhausted professional army. They could also fill out depleted units along the line of contact, cordon some areas and man checkpoints in the rear. They are, however, unlikely to become a capable fighting force. There are signs of discipline problems among soldiers who are mobilized to Russian garrisons.

A prisoner swap with Russia shortly after the summit seemed to favor Zelensky, who said at the time it was a first step towards ending the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which had started in 2014 and claimed the lives of over 14,000 people.

The annual conference run by The Cipher Brief brings together members of the national security community to look at the big picture on global security.

The conference heard from a top Ukrainian official who said the conflict needs to end with a victory for the Ukrainians on the battlefield.

The intelligence project running at Harvard’s Kennedy School is run by a former CIA officer, who says that the Russian leader is not looking for a solution to the conflict. In fact, he says, just the opposite. “Putin’s muscle memory when he runs into an obstacle is to escalate,” said Kolbe. “There’s a lot of tricks he can still pull out to try to undermine morale in Ukraine and in the West.”

As Russia begins a new offensive in eastern Ukraine, the US and its allies are skeptical Moscow has the manpower and resources to make significant gains, US and UK officials tell CNN. A senior US military official thinks it is more realistic than it is.

“That is essentially a metaphorical burning of bridges,” said Alperovitch. “As long as he is in power, he will have the resources to continue fighting, which means that this war will likely go on for many, many months, potentially many years.”

Meanwhile, the fast approaching winter will likely slow the pace of the war, but is not expected to halt the fighting. David Petraeus thinks the harsh weather favors the Ukrainians on the battlefield. “The Ukrainians can knock on the door and be taken in and get warmed up and get a bowl of soup from their fellow citizens. The Russian occupiers are trying to kill them, while the liberators are being welcomed as liberators.

No one suggested that the war was close to an end at the Georgia conference. The former CIA official said that he doesn’t see any chances of negotiations in the near term.

This war began after a Russian invasion, and has now become as intense as it ever was. Greg Myre is an NPR journalist. Follow him @gregmyre1.

Moscow is not afraid of confrontation with the west — a warning from the invasion of Ukraine, and a signal of Russian military influence in the Middle East

Some regional officials — including the mayor of Moscow, Sergey Sobyanin — appeared to be taking pains to offer reassurances. “At present, no measures are being introduced to limit the normal rhythm of the city’s life,” Mr. Sobyanin wrote on his Telegram channel.

And despite the new power granted them by Mr. Putin, the regional governors of Kursk, Krasnodar and Voronezh said no entry or exit restrictions would be imposed.

Analysts say that the martial law inUkraine is a warning to many Russians, the first time Moscow has declared martial law since World War II.

They are worried that Russia will close its borders soon and the siloviki will do what they want, said Ms. Stanovaya.

On Tuesday, the newly appointed commander of the Russian invasion, Gen. Sergei Surovikin, acknowledged that his army’s position in Kherson was “already quite difficult” and appeared to suggest that a tactical retreat might be necessary. General Surovikin said he was ready to make “difficult decisions” about military deployments, but did not say more about what those might be.

In a signal that the faltering invasion of Ukraine has eroded Moscow’s influence elsewhere, Russia has recently redeployed critical military hardware and troops from Syria, according to three senior officials based in the Middle East.

Kevin McCarthy’s “There should be no blank check on anything”: a response to CNN’s Kevin Obeidolatek

Dean Obeidolatek is a columnist for The Daily Beast and a host of The Dean Obeidolatek Show on smiq radio. Follow him on social media. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion on CNN.

Kevin McCarthy’s recent comments were more alarming, even though the reaction was callous and inflammatory. McCarthy said that Ukrainians can’t expect US aid to be a blank check if the Republicans take over the House.

The United States and its major allies have been steadfast in their resolve to support Ukraine in its fight, and their people have largely accepted the enormous cost. The political resistance in the US has been limited to a few voices on the far right and far left. As the war goes on, questions will become more common. As Representative Kevin McCarthy, the speaker of the House, a Republican and a strong supporter of Ukraine, has warned, “There should be no blank check on anything.”

“The notion that now Kevin McCarthy is going to make himself the leader of the pro-Putin wing of my party is just a stunning thing. It’s dangerous,” Cheney said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

I think he knows better but he is willing to sacrifice everything for his own political cause, and I think that is telling you.

On the Last Days of U.S. Assistance for Ukraine: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene vs. Vice President Vladmir Putin

In the midst of last month’s election, GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene believes McCarthy will give her a lot of power and a lot of latitude if Republicans win the House.

Conservative Fox News stars such as Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson are preparing the Republican base for the possibility of an end to US assistance for Ukraine.

Carlson — who declared on his show in 2019 when there was a potential conflict between the neighboring countries that he was “root(ing) for Russia” — did his best in the months before Putin’s attack to paint Ukraine in a negative light. For example, Carlson falsely claimed Ukraine was “not a democracy” and called Ukrainian leader Zelensky a “puppet of the Biden administration.”

And just last week, Ingraham derided former Vice President Mike Pence for referring to the United States as the “arsenal of democracy” and suggested our massive military is too depleted to help other countries such as Ukraine. Jim Banks of Indiana was introduced by Ingraham and he agreed with McCarthy that the United States couldnt put America first by giving aid to other countries.

As Biden suggested, McCarthy and some of his fellow Republicans may or may not get it. But there’s one person who fully gets it: Vladmir Putin. If the GOP wrests control of the House, few people will have better reason to celebrate.

Editor’s Note: David A. Andelman, a contributor to CNN, twice winner of the Deadline Club Award, is a chevalier of the French Legion of Honor, author of “A Red Line in the Sand: Diplomacy, Strategy, and the History of Wars That Might Still Happen” and blogs at Andelman Unleashed. He formerly was a correspondent for The New York Times and CBS News in Europe and Asia. The views that are expressed in this commentary are of his own. View more opinion at CNN.

He wants to distract his nation from the obvious fact that he is losing badly on the battlefield and failing to achieve even modest objectives of his invasion.

Towards a Sustainable Europe: The Role of Gas Caps and Trade-offs in the Kremlin’s War on Natural Gas

The ability to keep going depends on a lot of factors, from the availability and affordability of energy supplies for the winter to the popular will among nations with different priorities.

In the early hours of Friday in Brussels, European Union powers agreed a roadmap to control energy prices that have been surging on the heels of embargoes on Russian imports and the Kremlin cutting natural gas supplies at a whim.

These include an emergency cap on the benchmark European gas trading hub – the Dutch Title Transfer Facility – and permission for EU gas companies to create a cartel to buy gas on the international market.

The European Commission had only a clear mandate to begin working on a gas cap mechanism, and that’s according to the French President.

Europe’s largest economy, Germany, is skeptical of price caps. Now energy ministers must work out details with a Germany concerned such caps would encourage higher consumption – a further burden on restricted supplies.

These divisions are all part of Putin’s fondest dream. Manifold forces in Europe could prove central to achieving success from the Kremlin’s viewpoint, which amounts to the continent failing to agree on essentials.

Germany and France are already at loggerheads on many of these issues. In an effort to reach some accommodation, the leaders of France and Germany have called for a conference call on Wednesday.


Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni: How the Left Has Influenced the U.S. Against Ukraine and Why the West Shouldn’t

And now a new government has taken power in Italy. Giorgia Meloni was sworn in Saturday as Italy’s first woman prime minister and has attempted to brush aside the post-fascist aura of her party. One of her partners in a far-right coalition expressed deep admiration for Putin.

Silvio Berlusconi, himself a four-time prime minister of Italy, was recorded at a gathering of his party loyalists, describing with glee the 20 bottles of vodka Putin sent to him together with “a very sweet letter” on his 86th birthday.

The other leading member of the ruling Italian coalition, Matteo Salvini, named Saturday as deputy prime minister, said during the campaign, “I would not want the sanctions [on Russia] to harm those who impose them more than those who are hit by them.”

Poland and Hungary, two of the most ardently right-wing countries in Europe, united against liberal policies in the EU that seemed to reduce their influence, now have different views on the situation in Ukraine. Poland has taken deep offense at the pro-Putin sentiments of Hungary’s populist leader Viktor Orban.

It seems like the same forces are working in Washington where House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy thinks people will be sitting in a recession and won’t write a blank check. They are not going to do it.

Meanwhile on Monday, the influential 30-member Congressional progressive caucus called on Biden to open talks with Russia on ending the conflict while its troops are still occupying vast stretches of the country and its missiles and drones are striking deep into the interior.

Hours later, caucus chair Mia Jacob, facing a firestorm of criticism, emailed reporters with a statement “clarifying” their remarks in support of Ukraine. Dmytro Kuleba was called by the Secretary of State to give renewed America’s support.

This support in terms of arms, materiel and now training for Ukrainian forces have been the underpinnings of their remarkable battlefield successes against a weakening, undersupplied and ill-prepared Russian military.

The West is trying to reduce the amount of money they pay for Russian oil by capping it at a certain amount. There are signs the efforts are already cutting into profits.

Russian production of hypersonic missiles has all but ceased “due to the lack of necessary semi-conductors,” said the report. Plants producing anti-aircraft systems have shut down, and as a result of this, Russia has reverted to Soviet-era defense stocks for replenishment. Thirty years ago, the Soviet era ended.

A day before this report, the US announced seizure of all property of a top Russian procurement agent Yury Orekhov and his agencies “responsible for procuring US-origin technologies for Russian end-users…including advanced semiconductors and microprocessors.”

The Department of Justice has charged people and companies for trying to bring high tech equipment into Russia in violation of sanctions.

The War on the Lattice between Ukraine and the United States is Nearly Almost Over: Two Administration Officials Without Biden’s National Security Team

But Milley’s position is not widely backed by President Joe Biden’s national security team, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan, neither of whom believe it’s time to make a serious push for talks over Ukraine, according to two administration officials familiar with the discussion.

The result is a growing debate inside the administration over whether Ukraine’s recent gains on the battlefield should spark a renewed effort to seek some sort of negotiated end to the fighting, according to officials.

Since the city of Kherson was taken back by Ukraine, Milley has been pushing for peace in the public. 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.

Administration officials were unsurprised by the comments but also concerned that the administration seemed to be divided in the eyes of the Kremlin.

The internal debate comes as senior US officials – including Sullivan – have in recent weeks been urging Ukraine to signal that it is still open to diplomatic discussions with Russia, even after Zelensky signed a decree in early October ruling out negotiations with Putin.

In internal deliberations, officials said Milley has sought to make it clear that he is not urging a Ukrainian capitulation, but rather that he believes now is an optimal time to drive toward an end to the war before it drags into spring or beyond, leading to more death and destruction without changing the front lines.

But that view is not widely held across the administration. One official explained that the State Department is on the opposite side of the pole from Milley. That dynamic has led to a unique situation where military brass are more fervently pushing for diplomacy than US diplomats.

Milley’s position comes as the US military has dug deep into US weapons stockpiles to support the Ukrainians and is currently scouring the globe for materials to support Ukraine heading into winter – such as heaters and generators – which has raised concerns about how long this war can be sustained, officials said.

A US official said the US is going to buy 100,000 rounds of fire arms from South Korean manufacturers and give them to the Ukrainians. 100,000 rounds of 155mm howitzer round will be purchased by the US as part of the deal, and will be transferred to Ukraine through the US.

The Perfect Moment to Have a Biden-Xi Summit in the United States and to Show that Democracy is Not So Bad As It Looks

Ned Price wouldn’t say if 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.

“Russia will continue to do what Russia does, and we will continue to do what we do. And that is to not be deterred from our support for Ukraine, and for us and Zelensky to not be deterred to travel as he sees fit to advance his people’s interests,” the official said.

The former CNN producer and correspondent is a world affairs columnist. She is a weekly opinion contributor to CNN, a contributing columnist to The Washington Post and a columnist for World Politics Review. The views expressed in this commentary are her own. View more opinion on CNN.

It was a good time to have the Biden-Xi summit. China is a major violator of human rights and it poses a threat to Taiwan and the United States. But avoiding a Cold War or a direct, especially an accidental conflict, is crucial.

It is unlikely that a democratic process in the US will be of interest to Xi and other autocrats who want to show that democracy is not as bad as they think. The midterms brought the American President to the table with a stronger hand to play.

That’s not the only reason, however, why this was the perfect moment — from the standpoint of the United States and for democracy — for this meeting to occur: There’s much more to this geopolitical moment than who controls the US House of Representatives and Senate.

Vladimir Putin in Ukraine: A preview of a pivotal milestone for China and its relationship with the G20 summit in Bali – a warning from the Foreign Ministry

During the meeting, the president of Ukranian made an emotional return to Kherson, the provincial capital that Russian invaders had conquered.

The world’s leading autocrats looked unstoppable even. Meanwhile, Western democracies appeared unsettled, roiled by sometimes violent protests against Covid-19 restrictions. Putin was preparing for triumph in Ukraine. Xi was hosting the Olympics, basking in attention, and preparing to solidify his control of China.

Putin’s adventure turned to disaster as the Ukrainians defended their country with unexpected tenacity and as Biden rallied allies in a muscular push to support Ukraine.

According to the Foreign Ministry of the People’s Republic of China, Wang’s visit will provide an opportunity for China and Russia to continue to develop their strategic partnership and exchange views on issues of shared interest.

Tellingly, Putin chose not to attend the G20 summit in Bali, avoiding confrontations with world leaders as he increasingly becomes a pariah on the global stage.

Xi Jinping, Putin, the Khmer Rouge and the G19: where do we stand today? Where are we going? Where do we go? Where does China stand?

Biden isn’t the only leader with a strong hand. With his third term as China’s leader, Xi can now effectively rule for as long as he wants. He doesn’t have to worry about elections, a critical press or an opposition party. He is essentially the absolute ruler of a mighty country for many years to come.

And yet Xi faces a mountain of daunting problems. China is hesitant about revealing economic data because of the slowing economy. Covid-19 vaccine is a disappointment and once a tool of global diplomacy. And partly because of that, China is imposing draconian lockdowns as the rest of the world gradually returns to normalcy after the pandemic.

The importance of this is that the two systems are able to show that democracy works and that unprovoked war between Russia and China will not succeed.

A Ukrainian rocket may have downed an incoming Russian missile, which was believed to be the first missile to have landed in Poland, a NATO member. Zelensky insisted that the missile was not Ukrainian.

Whatever the exact circumstances of the missile, one thing is clear. “Russia bears ultimate responsibility, as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Wednesday.

He has planted mines in a large swath of Kherson like the Khmer Rouge did in Cambodia in the 70s. Indeed, Cambodian de-mining experts have even been called in to assist with the herculean task facing Ukraine in 2022. Evidence of torture and atrocities has been left behind by the Russian armies, which is similar to the actions of the Khmer Rouge.

That said, a growing number of Russian soldiers have rebelled at what they have been asked to do and refused to fight. The UK believes Russian troops may be prepared to shoot soldiers in the desert.

Indeed a hotline and Telegram channel, launched as a Ukrainian military intelligence project called “I want to live,” designed to assist Russian soldiers eager to defect, has taken off, reportedly booking some 3,500 calls in its first two months of activity.

Diplomatically, Putin finds himself increasingly isolated on the world stage. He was not present for the session of the G20, which was dubbed the “G19.” Though Putin once lusted after a return to the G7 (known as the G8 before he was ousted after his seizure of Crimea), inclusion now seems but a distant dream. Russia’s sudden ban on 100 Canadians, including Canadian-American Jim Carrey, from entering the country only made the comparison with North Korea more striking.

One leading Russian journalist, who has settled in Berlin after fleeing in March, told me last week that while he hoped that it was not the case, he is prepared to accept the reality that many Russians will never be able to return to their homeland.

The War Between Ukraine and the Western Allies: The Case for a Russian Airborne Future Combat Air System (FAIRS) Fighters Revisited

The West wants to get rid of Russia’s oil and natural gas resources in order to impede the pursuit of this war. “We have understood and learnt our lesson that it was an unhealthy and unsustainable dependency, and we want reliable and forward-looking connections,” Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission told the G20 on Tuesday.

The burden this conflict has had on Western nations, along with Putin’s dream that this conflict would drive further wedge into the Western alliance, are proving to be unfulfilled. On Monday, word began circulating in aerospace circles that the long-stalled joint French-German project for a next-generation jet fighter at the heart of the Future Combat Air System – Europe’s largest weapons program – was beginning to move forward.

Nine months in, Russian hopes of a swift seizure have been well and truly dashed, its army largely on the defensive across more than 600 miles of battle lines strung along the eastern and southern reaches of Ukraine.

The reality is that there is little real value to any truce, whether or not linked to negotiations. A truce gives Russia, its back increasingly to the wall militarily, vitally needed breathing room.

“The only thing a premature truce does is it allows both parties to re-arm,” Michael Kofman, director of Russian studies at the CNA think tank and a leading expert on the Russian military, told me in an interview.

Already, Russia is beginning to rearm, experts say. “Ammunition availability” was one of the most important aspects of the war, said Kofman. “If you burn through 9 million rounds, you cannot make them in a month. So the issue is what is the ammunition production rate and what can be mobilized?” he added.

Kofman cited available information showing that the manufacture of munitions – which have been the staples of the exchanges so far along Ukrainian front lines – has gone from two, and in some factories to three, shifts a day in Russia. This suggests that “they have the component parts or otherwise they wouldn’t be going to double and triple shifts,” he said.

“Please imagine how Ukrainians understand negotiations,” former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko told the Council on Foreign Relations on Monday. After a killer kills a wife and rapes a daughter in your house, you are allowed to come to the second floor where he can rape your daughter again. Let’s negotiate. What would be your reaction?”

The Russian Bet: The Russian War in the East and the Prospect for a Damned Putin? Ryan, Ryan, and Fleming

“As well as giving the Russians time to regroup and rearm, importantly it would relieve the pressure on their forces at the moment,” General Mick Ryan, a fellow of the Center for Strategic and International Studies told me in an email exchange. “They have been at it hard for nine months. Their forces are tired.

Jeremy Fleming, head of Britain’s top- secret electronic espionage agency GCHQ, voiced that sentiment last month. Russian commanders know that their supplies are running out, said Fleming.

Ukrainian officials have been sounding the alarm about attacks from Russia in the East but there is also skepticism on the Ukrainian side.

He described that as a big command post or an ammo dump that was pulled back beyond the 80 kilometer range. In many cases, inside of Russian territory, which Ukraine has given assurances it won’t target with rocket systems from the US.

Any hypothetical momentum towards a deal could result in a reduction of Western military aid to Kyiv. The exit route is a face-saving option for Putin, whose reputation would be severely impacted if he returned from a war with no territorial gains.

But at some point, they’ll also get tired of this war, he added. And the Russian mindset may become “we may not have everything we wanted. But we’ll have a big chunk of the Donbas and will annex that into Russia and we’ll hold onto Crimea. And I think that’s kind of their bet right now.”

A ceasefire would allow the West to rebuild rapidly diminishing arsenals that have been drained by materiel sent to Ukraine, even upgrade what has been supplied.

Many are starting to wish the war was over and there is a lot of question as to whether the US and its allies will be ready to fight again in a few years.

The US Army is close to sending the Patriot system to Ukraine, and why does Russia want to invade Ukraine? An interview with US Vice President Oren Liebermann

CNN’s Barbara Starr and Oren Liebermann were the first to report that the US is close to sending the system to Ukraine.

“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 and very telling that officials from a country that brutally attacked its neighbor in an illegal and unprovoked invasion … that they would choose to use words like provocative to describe defensive systems that are meant to save lives and protect civilians,” Ryder told reporters.

Russia’s defence ministry shared video of the deployment of a “Yars” intercontinental missile into a silo in the Kaluga region and called it a “provocative” move.

Commander Alexander Khodakovsky said on Russian state TV that Russia could not defeat the NATO alliance in a conventional war.

Smaller air defense systems only need a few people to operate, whereas the larger batteries need a lot of people. The training for Patriot missile batteries normally takes multiple months, a process the United States will now carry out under the pressure of near-daily aerial attacks from Russia.

One of the most capable long-range weapons to defend airspace against incoming missiles and aircraft is the system. Because of its ability to shoot down Russian missiles and aircraft far away from their intended targets inside Ukraine, it could possibly shoot them down.

In an interview with The Economist published Thursday, Zelensky also rejected the idea recently suggested by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Ukraine seek to reclaim only land seized by Russia since February 2022 and not areas like Donbas and Crimea, which have been under Russian control since 2014.

NATO troops are not on the ground. NATO planes are not in the air over Ukrainian territory. He said that they are supportingUkraine in their right to defend themselves.

Old ammo. Earlier this week, CNN reported on a US military official who stated that the Russian army had had to use 40-year-old cannon fodder because their supplies of new weaponry were quickly running out.

“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.

In the trenches: the story of Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, and a campaigner who bullied him in the early 1990s

As the war nears its one-year anniversary, however, international support for Ukraine is being tested. Sanctions on Moscow have contributed to higher energy prices, particularly in Europe, which is heavily reliant on Russian oil and gas. In the United States, Republicans who are poised to take control of the House of Representatives have signaled they won’t quickly approve massive new assistance packages 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 talked to a man who was turned into a tank driver.

In Paris at the time, I witnessed how Zelensky pulled up to the Élysée Palace in a modest Renault, while Putin motored in with an ostentatious armored limousine. The host of the event, the French President, shook hands with Zelensky but did not hug Putin.

The officials said Biden invited Zelensky to Washington because he believed the war in Ukraine was entering a new phase. As winter sets in and Russia continues targeting civilian infrastructure, the moment seemed ripe for Zelensky to make a dramatic public appeal for continued international support.

It is difficult to calculate how much the carefully managed stagecraft of the president’s inner circle has contributed to Zelensky’s popular image both inside and outside Ukraine – but it certainly can’t hurt.

After being bullied by Putin, he knew what he needed to do and it was just his gut feeling according to Yevhen Hlibovytsky.

This, after all, is the leader who when offered evacuation by the US as Russia launched its full-scale invasion, quipped: “I need ammunition, not a ride.”

Zelensky was able to stand up to Donald Trump in the quid pro quo scandal due to his political skills earlier in his career.

Amid the fog of war, it all seems a long, long way since the heady campaign celebration in a repurposed Kyiv nightclub where a fresh-faced Zelensky thanked his supporters for a landslide victory. He appeared to be in disbelief as he stood on the stage with the confetti in his hands.

As Russian troops began to amass on Ukraine’s borders in the weeks preceding the February assault, around 55% of Ukrainians said they didn’t trust Zelensky to lead them into war. It was a rating likely influenced by him not keeping some of his campaign promises, especially failing to launch an effective fight against corruption in the judiciary.

His bubble includes many people from his previous professional life as a TV comedian in the theatrical group Kvartal 95. Even in the midst of the war, a press conference was held at the platform of the metro station in April with good lighting and good camera angles.

His nightly televised addresses brought solace during the air raid sirens and explosions in Lviv, for I remember well how comforting they were.

Zelensky is a human being, not a politician, but a bridge between intelligence and diplomatic competence in the 21st century

“By wearing T-shirts and hoodies, the youthful, egalitarian uniform of Silicon Valley, rather than suits, Zelensky is projecting confidence and competence in a modern way, to a younger, global audience that recognizes it as such,” Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell, a fashion historian and author of “Red, White, and Blue on the Runway: The 1968 White House Fashion Show and the Politics of American Style,” told NPR.

“He is probably more comfortable than Putin on camera, too, both as an actor and as a digital native,” she added. Both of them want to come across as personable and accessible, while Zelensky is trying to balance authority with accessibility.

Zelenska has proved to be an effective translator in international fora as she journeys to where her husband can’t. Most recently, she met with King Charles during a visit to a refugee assistance center at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family in London. Zelenska was not included on the cover of TIME magazine, even though there was a passing reference in the supporting text.

Despite the strong tailwinds at Zelensky’s back, there are subtle signs that his international influence could be dwindling. Zelensky’s pleas for a price cap on Russian crude were ignored by the G7 last week, even as analysts said it was a “crucial moment in geopolitics.”

As Zelensky said in a recent nightly video address: “No matter what the aggressor intends to do, when the world is truly united, it is then the world, not the aggressor, determines how events develop.”

He will make a trip to the Oval Office in the afternoon where he will sit down with President Joe Biden and talk about the aid the US is giving to Ukraine. They will have a news conference in White House before Zelensky gives a speech on Capitol Hill.

The visit came at a critical time in the conflict, as air raid sirens could be heard around Kyiv, while Vice President Biden was walking with Zelensky around the cathedral.

The official said that Zelensky, who was very keen to visit the US, determined those parameters met his needs, and the US would work to execute them. The trip has been confirmed on Sunday.

The official said US troops would train Ukrainians to use the system in a third country. CNN has previously reported the training would occur at a US Army base in Grafenwoehr, Germany.

Zelensky’s visit to Kyiv: A crucial moment in the US strategy of a new war against Ukraine, and a critical debate on its future

President Joe Biden slipped into Kyiv on Monday for the first time since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine almost a year ago, demonstrating in dramatic personal fashion his commitment to the country and its struggle as the war enters an uncertain new phase.

When Zelensky arrives in Washington, he might well experience the same revelation that Churchill did over the capital’s blazing lights at Christmas after months in the dark of air raid blackouts back home.

His visit is unfolding amid extraordinary security. After Zelensky was reported to be welcome to the US Capitol in an unexpected coda to Pelosi, she didn’t confirm it until Tuesday evening. We just don’t know.”

The decision on Patriots, which would satisfy a long-standing Ukrainian request, reflects a US process of matching its aid to the shifting strategy of Russia’s assault. The system allows Kyiv to counter Russia’s brutal missile attacks on cities and electricity installations by using bitter winter weather to break the will of Ukrainian civilians.

Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, Wesley Clark said that Zelensky’s trip reflects a critical moment when the destiny of a war that Ukraine cannot win without upgraded US support could be decided before Russia can regroup.

His visit to Congress will also play into an increasingly important debate on Capitol Hill over Ukraine aid with Republicans set to take over the House majority in the new year. Some pro-Donald Trump members, who will have significant leverage in the thin GOP majority, have warned that billions of dollars in US cash that have been sent to Ukraine should instead be shoring up the US southern border with a surge of new migrants expected within days.

Zelensky and the horrors of December 11, 1941, when Britain and the United States met Washington, D.C., during World War II

Zelensky evoked both Mount Rushmore and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a Dream Speech” during a virtual address to Congress. There were two days of infamy in modern history when Americans experienced the fear of aerial bombardment.

“Remember Pearl Harbor, terrible morning of December 7, 1941, when your sky was black from the planes attacking you. Just remember it,” Zelensky said. September 11, 2001 was a horrible day when evil tried to turn cities into battlefields. When innocent people were attacked, attacked from air, just like nobody else expected it, you could not stop it. Our country experiences the same every day.”

In December of 1941, the leader of Britain sailed to the United States and was met by President Roosevelt in Washington, DC, after a flight from the coast of Virginia.

Over days of brainstorming and meetings – fueled by Churchill’s regime of sherry with breakfast, Scotch and sodas for lunch, champagne in the evening and a tipple of 90-year-old brandy before bed – the two leaders plotted the defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan and laid the foundation of the Western alliance that Biden has reinvigorated in his support for Ukraine.

Churchill, who had pined for US involvement in World War II for months and knew it was the key to defeating Adolf Hitler, said during his visit, “I spend this anniversary and festival far from my country, far from my family, and yet I cannot truthfully say that I feel far from home.”

The historical parallels will likely impress the Ukrainian leader. He talked to the British members of parliament about a famous wartime speech that he had heard.

U.S. Air Defense: What Do We Need to Know Before We Leave Ukraine? – John Zelensky in the White House

The first headline deliverables are the Patriot missile systems. They are described as the US’s “gold standard” of air defense. NATO preciously guards them, and they require the personnel who operate them – almost 100 in a battalion for each weapon – to be properly trained.

More precision weapons are vital: they ensure Ukraine hits its targets, and not any civilians remaining nearby. And it means Ukraine does not go through the hundreds or thousands of shells Russia appears to burn through as it blanket bombards areas it wants to capture.

Guidance kits, which can be used to fire unguided missiles or bombs, is likely to be included in the new deal. The rate in which the force of Kyiv burns through rounds will be increased by this. A lot of the funds will be used to replace munitions and stocks.

Moscow’s conventional forces appear to be running out of new cards, as the exception of its nuclear forces. The use of nuclear force has been made less likely by China and India’s statements against it.

Whatever the eventual truth of the matter – and military aid is opaque at the best of times – Biden wants Putin to hear nothing but headline figures in the billions, to sap Russian resolve, push European partners to help more, and make Ukraine’s resources seem limitless.

The remnants of the Trumpist party had doubts about how much aid the US should send to eastern Europe.

The bill for the defeat of Russia in the dark and lengthy conflict is relatively low for Washington, given it has a trillion dollar annual defense budget.

Zelensky gave a historic speech at the US Capitol, thanking American aid in fighting Russian aggression since the war began and asking for more.

The speech made a connection between the struggle of Ukrainian people to our own revolution, to our own feelings of warmth in our homes to celebrate Christmas and to know that they are on the front lines battling for their lives.

In terms of whether or not Russia is massing its aircraft for a big attack, we do not currently see that. We do know that Russia has a substantial number of aircraft in its inventory and a lot of capability left,” he said. We need to do everything we can to get as much Ukrainian air defense capability as possible.

Clinton said that the leader was impossible to predict as the war turned in the Ukrainian’s favor, and his popularity at home waned.

“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.

What Zelensky wanted from his trip to the United States to the end of the World War II war (and why he didn’t) do

Shrouded in secrecy until the last minute, the historic visit was heavy with symbolism, from Zelensky’s drab green sweatshirt to President Joe Biden’s blue-and-yellow striped tie to the Ukrainian battle flag unfurled on the House floor.

But the trip was about far more than symbols. Biden wouldn’t invite Zelensky to Washington – and endure a risky trip outside Ukraine for the first time since the war began – if he did not believe something real could be accomplished meeting face-to-face instead of over the phone.

The men made clear that they think the war is 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.

But on Wednesday, Zelensky used bellicose rhetoric that suggested such a peace was not close, saying the road to ending the war would not involve making concessions to Russia.

He said that peace isn’t compromises and doesn’t see any road to peace where Ukraine gives up territory or sovereignty.

Zelenskyy presented a peace formula at the Group of 20 summit in Indonesia in November that included a restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, withdrawal of Russian troops, release of prisoners, and a tribunal for those responsible for the aggression.

Biden said that Zelensky needed to decide how he wanted the war to end, leaving a lot of questions unanswered.

Zelensky used his address to Congress to include references to some of the most important battles of American history, such as the Battle of the Bastogne in World War II.

He delivered his address in English, a purposeful choice he telegraphed ahead of the speech. Even his attire – the now-familiar Army green shirt, cargo pants and boots – seemed designed to remind his audience they were in the presence of a wartime leader.

Zelensky in Kiev: The American perspective on war crimes in the Middle East and the emergence of democracy in the 21st century

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.

On Wednesday, he sought to harness Americans’ emotional response to his country’s suffering, evoking dark winter nights as Russia seeks to interrupt Ukraine’s power supply.

We will celebrate Christmas in two days. Maybe candlelit. Not because it’s more romantic, no, but because there will not be – there will be no electricity,” he said.

Many Americans wondered aloud why billions of US dollars were needed for a conflict thousands of miles away. The cause was more important to him than his homeland.

Biden announced a half-billion dollars in new assistance, saying the package would include more military equipment, such as artillery ammunition, more javelins and Howitzers. He said that new sanctions would be imposed on Moscow later this week.

Zelensky’s candid request for more Patriots – and Biden’s lighthearted response – amounted to a window into one of the world’s most complicated relationships.

Biden and Zelensky have maintained a good relationship on the surface. Zelensky praised Biden while he was in the East Room on his way to Capitol Hill.

That has not always sat well with Biden and his team. 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 sincerely. He said there was no substitute for looking someone in the eye while sitting down face to face.

Zelensky versus Putin: Russia is not ready for a long confrontation with Russia, and what Putin could tell us about a war in Ukraine

The war in Europe is about to enter its tenth months, and Moscow said that the war is set for a long confrontation with Russia.

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.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that no matter how much military support the West provides to the Ukrainian government, “they will achieve nothing.”

Zakharova said that the tasks set in the framework of the special military operations will be fulfilled, taking into account the situation on the ground and the actual realities.

He said Zelenskyy’s visit showed that the U.S. is engaged in a proxy war with Russia.

According to a Russian history professor at the Baltimore school, the Kremlin has been selling that line to the Russian public.

Dismissing accusations of a proxy war, Sloat says Zelenskyy and Ukraine have made clear that they want a “just peace,” and all the U.S. has been doing is help the country defend itself against Russian aggression.

Last week Moscow warned that the delivery of missiles to Ukraine would be seen as provocative by the US and could lead to a Russian attack.

Beijing is ready to present a peace offer for Ukraine, its top diplomat said Saturday at a Security Conference in Germany.

But Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told The Associated Press that Russia could only be invited to such a summit if the country faced a war crimes tribunal first.

U.S. Secretary of State Volodymyr Zelenskyy: Bringing everyone on board the U.N. Security Council

Kuleba also said he was “absolutely satisfied” with the results of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to the U.S. last week, and he revealed that the U.S. government had made a special plan to get the Patriot missile battery ready to be operational in the country in less than six months. Usually, the training takes up to a year.

Kuleba said in an interview that diplomacy plays an important role, asUkraine will do anything it can to win the war in 2023.

“The United Nations could be the best venue for holding this summit, because this is not about making a favor to a certain country,” he said. “This is really about bringing everyone on board.”

About Guterres’ role, Kuleba said: “He has proven himself to be an efficient mediator and an efficient negotiator, and most importantly, as a man of principle and integrity. We’d welcome his participation.

He said they regularly say that they are prepared for negotiations, but everything they do on the battlefield proves the opposite.

Kuleba was part of the delegation which went to the U.S. and said that the show shows how important the United States is for both Russia and Ukraine.

He said that the U.S. government developed a program for the missile battery to complete the training faster than usual “without any damage to the quality of the use of this weapon on the battlefield.”

While Kuleba didn’t mention a specific time frame, he said only that it will be “very much less than six months.” And he added that the training will be done “outside” Ukraine.

Zelenskyy was the only one who was able to carry out the message fromUkraine during Russia’s ground and air war.

On Monday, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry called on U.N. member states to strip Russia of its permanent membership in the Security Council. Kuleba said they have long “prepared for this step to uncover the fraud and deprive Russia of its status.”

The Foreign Ministry says that Russian never went through the legal procedure for acquiring membership and taking the place of the USSR at the U.N. Security Council after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Putin’s “Conciliatory” vs. “Demilitarization” of Ukranian-controlled Territories: Rejoinding Kiev with the Kremlin on the Warsaw Process

The vaguely conciliatory tone from Putin was quickly undermined by a heavy-handed message from one of his key officials.

Sergey Lavrov, Putin’s foreign minister, said Monday that Ukraine must fulfill Russia’s demands for the “demilitarization and denazification” of Ukrainian-controlled territories, repeating Moscow’s well-worn and false accusation of Nazism against Ukraine, which it has used in an attempt to justify its invasion.

Alexander Rodnyansky told CNN that Putin was likely trying to buy time in the conflict.

“The blitzkrieg has gone terribly wrong for them and they know that, so they need more time to regroup and rebuild their troops,” Rodnyansky said, adding that it was also Kremlin’s strategy to dissuade the world from sending more military aid to Ukraine. We should not fall into that trap.

A series of counter-offensives that pushed back Russian forces has made the ground war in eastern and southern Ukranian more defined since the end of the summer.

It makes sense for the West to reject the idea of carving up its own land for Putin’s benefit.

But Zelensky and his officials have said throughout that they will continue to sound out the possibility of negotiations, without raising any hopes that they would achieve a truce.

“Every war ends in a diplomatic way,” Kuleba told the AP on Monday. “Every war ends as a result of the actions taken on the battlefield and at the negotiating table.”

A path to nuclear safety, food security, a special tribunal, and a final peace treaty with Moscow are included in the steps. He urged G20 leaders to use their power to make Russia abandon nuclear threats and impose a price cap on energy imports from Moscow.

Probing the Russian Revolution with “Fake News” Laws and Social Media: The War in Ukraine During the First Battle of the Cold War

A decisive swing on the battlefield in the New Year could force a change in the calculus, but both sides are dug into what will many observers believe could become a long and grinding conflict.

Zelensky had his first overseas trip in ten months and it showed his intentions to keep his allies focused on the conflict.

At that time,Putin claimed his forces were going to be doing a “limited military operation” in a matter of weeks.

The invasion has grown into the biggest land war in Europe since World War II, forcing millions of Ukrainians from their homes, decimating the Ukrainian economy and killing thousands of civilians.

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 were not allowed to criticize its performance under the laws passed in February. 45% of the people who have been held for demonstrating against the war are women, according to a leading independent monitoring group.

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.

Even Russia’s most revered human rights group, 2022’s Nobel Prize co-recipient Memorial, was forced to stop its activities over alleged violations of the foreign agents law.

The state has vastly expanded Russia’s already restrictive anti-LGBT laws, and believes the war in Ukraine reflects a wider attack on “traditional values.”

For now, repressions remain targeted. Some of the new laws are still unenforced. The measures are intended to crush dissent should the moment arise.

Leading independent media outlets and a handful of vibrant, online investigative startups were forced to shut down or relocate abroad when confronted with new “fake news” laws that criminalized contradicting the official government line.

Restrictions extend to internet users as well. In March, American social media giants were banned. Over one hundred thousand websites have been blocked by the Kremlin’s internet regulator since the start of the conflict.

Russian citizens still have access to independent sources of information as a result of the technical workarounds. But state media propaganda now blankets the airwaves favored by older Russians, with angry TV talk shows spreading conspiracies.

Ruling Down Russia’s Wars Against Ukraine: Insights from the European Parliament, Business, Economy, and Human Rights Concerned with the Second Ukrainian War

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.

Some countries that have absorbed Russians predict that their economies will grow even as Russians remain a sensitive issue for former Soviet republics.

Russian price controls helped the ruble regain value. Russian ownership led to the resurrection of several brands, including McDonald’s. By year’s end, the government reported the economy had declined by 2.5%, far less than most economists predicted.

President Putin believes that Europe will blink first when it comes to sanctions and pullback its support to Ukraine because of Europeans growing angry over soaring energy costs at home. 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.

When it comes to Russia’s military campaign, there’s no outward change in the government’s tone. Russia’s Defense Ministry has daily briefings on its successes. Putin, too, repeatedly assures that everything is “going according to plan.”

It is suggested by the length of the war that Russia underestimated Ukrainians’ willingness to resist.

Russian troops were not able to take over either the capital of Ukraine or the second city. Kherson, the sole major city seized by Russia, was abandoned amid a Ukrainian counteroffensive in November. Russian forces have been shelling the city.

Russia’s illegal annexation of four territories of Ukraine is a sign of Moscow’s problems, since they have not been able to establish full control over their own lands.

The true number of Russian losses – officially at just under 6,000 men – remains a highly taboo subject at home. Western estimates place the figures much higher.

The Russian invasion has backfired in its main aim of broadening NATO 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 both purchased discounted Russian oil, but have not provided full support for Russia’s military campaign.


What Does Europe Do and How Does the West Deal With Its Occultary State of the Nation Address? The Case of the Fall of Russia

A state of the nation address, originally scheduled for April, was repeatedly delayed and won’t happen until next year. The annual direct line, in which Putin fields questions from the ordinary Russians, was canceled completely.

An annual December “big press conference” – a semi-staged affair that allows the Russian leader to handle fawning questions from mostly pro-Kremlin media – was similarly tabled until 2023.

The Kremlin doesn’t have reason for the delays. Many suspect it might be that, after 10 months of war and no sign of victory in sight, the Russian leader has finally run out of good news to share.

After the destruction of the world that nuclear saber-rattling brought, it was not acceptable to casually threaten people with nukes.

Europe is not welcoming in an age of greater security despite the decline of Russia. It’s louder and more well-known if calls for more defense spending comes at a time when Russia reveals itself to be less threatening.

Russia has also met a West that was willing to allow Russia to send some of it’s weaponry to its eastern border. Russia knows how limited its non- nuclear options are, and so its red lines appear to shift constantly. This was not supposed to happen. So, what does Europe do and prepare for, now that it has?

Key is just how unexpectedly unified the West has been. Despite being split over Iraq, fractured over Syria, and partially unwilling to spend the 2% of GDP on security the United States long demanded of NATO members, Europe and the US have been speaking from the same script on Ukraine. At times, Washington has seemed more aggressive and there have been outliers like Hungary. But the shift is towards unity, not disparity. That is quite a surprise.

There are claims that Russia has already lost the war. There are variables that can still lead to a stalemate in its favor, or even a reversal of fortune. NATO could lose patience or nerve over weapons shipments, as they seek economic reason over long-term security. At this time, it seems like that is unlikely.

So, how does the West deal with a Russia that has experienced this colossal loss of face in Ukraine and is slowly withering economically because of sanctions? Is a weak Russia something to be scared of? The West is going to have to wrestle with this. It’s not such a terrifying question anymore.

America has done this before. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the most dangerous nuclear confrontation so far, the Soviet Union’s position shifted in a matter of days, ultimately accepting an outcome that favored the West. America might have taken an inferior compromise that would have weakened its security and credibility if red lines had been in place.

The German-Ukraine relations intl-cmd: A rare moment of steely leadership in the aftermath of the 2003 Russian-Israel war

Russia had invested a lot of money into the undersea line that would connect it to Germany in order to get more sales and economic power over Europe. Germany, a leading consumer, was on board from the get-go. Washington was not.

The United States wanted the new supply of high capacity equipment to be replaced by old overland lines which would provide vital revenue to the 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 the defeat of Russia by his counterpart in Washington.

Europe has been slow to respond to the deep fissures in US politics and the uncertainty another Trumpian-style presidency could wreak on its allies. It has replaced a fairly unshakable reliance on the US and Germany leads the way.

Europe’s moral compass was made up of a former Chancellor. Scholz has found unexpected metal in his ponderous, often stop/go/wait traffic-light governing coalition and won thunderous applause in Germany’s Bundestag on Wednesday as he flashed a rare moment of steely leadership.

NATO member states, as well as their politicians, have been an important part of Ukraine’s transformation from legacy Soviet force to NATO clone. Scholz made that point in parliament on Wednesday.

He told them to trust them and 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. He said that the government had dealt with the crisis and were in a better position.

The loud applause at his carefully crafted speech was as loud as his words. In short, Scholz got it right for Germany, bringing with him a population typically averse to war and projecting their own power, and deeply divided over how much they should aid Ukraine in killing Russians and potentially angering the Kremlin.


NPR’s State of the Union: Biden, Scholz, and the Future of the War in Ukraine During the Second World War

Dmitry Medvedev, former Russian president and deputy chairman of its national security council, has said Russia would never allow itself to be defeated and would use nuclear weapons if threatened.

CNN spoke to some Moscow dwellers who were confused about the announcements by Biden and Scholz. Some people said Russia would win despite the heavy death toll, while others said the US and Germany would be the ones to lose. Many people worried about the war, and some were angry thatPutin 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 signal to Zelensky that weapons supplies will be on more of a German leash, and less led by Washington.

This shift in the power dynamic may not change the way the war is fought but could impact the contours of a final deal and shape a lasting peace when it comes.

The war in Ukraine did not receive the same attention in Biden’s State of the Union address as it did in the previous year when Oksana Markarova attended.

You can read past recaps here. You can find more of NPR’s coverage here. For updates throughout the day, visit NPR’s State of Ukraine.

The U.S. is not seeing Russia’s bombs in Brussels: a warning to the European Union about the Russian-Prussian border crisis

The senior British official told CNN that it was unlikely that Russian forces would be better organized and more successful, but they were willing to send more troops.

The senior Ukrainian diplomat said that the manpower had been accumulated enough to take only one or two small cities. Compared to the sense of panic they were trying to build, it was overwhelming.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in Brussels that the US is not seeing Russia “massing” its aircraft for an aerial operation.

US and western leaders are working to create unity and strength in hopes of establishing once and for all a NATO that is in the conflict for the long haul and until Moscow is defeated.

The trip comes ahead of Biden’s planned two-day visit to Poland. The President is scheduled to be in Warsaw on Tuesday where he will meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda, the White House said Sunday.

The State of Relations for the U.S. and China in the Light of the 2016 Pulsar-Baxter Outburst

There are a few members of the new Republican majority that are hesitant. Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz last week demanded an end to aid to Ukraine and for the US to demand all combatants “reach a peace agreement immediately.” A bipartisan majority for saving Ukraine still exists in the House and the Senate. But it’s not certain Biden can guarantee massive multi-billion dollar aid packages for Ukraine in perpetuity. And US aid might be in serious doubt if ex-President Donald Trump or another Republican wins the 2024 election.

The outside world knows Putin is not contemplating defeat or an exit from the war because of the complete lack of any diplomatic framework for ceasefire talks.

Fiona Hill, a leading expert on Russia and Putin, who worked in Trump’s White House, said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday that there were few signs Putin’s determination is waning.

While relations between the US and China continue to plummet – most recently due to the fallout from a suspected Chinese spy balloon that entered US airspace, China and Russia are as close as ever since their leaders declared a “no-limits” friendship a year ago – partly driven by their shared animosity toward the United States.

The US was worried about the potential for China and Russia to become even more entwined at a time when it was clashing with each other.

Territorial and sovereignty integrity of all countries will be respected in China’s proposal, Wang said, adding that Beijing will continue to work for peace.

At the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Wang addressed a room of European officials as “dear friends” and touted China’s commitment to peace, while apparently attempting to drive a wedge between Europe and the US.

“We need more proof that China isn’t working with Russia, and we aren’t seeing that now,” European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen told CNN Saturday.

Wang Yi – who was promoted as Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s top foreign policy adviser last month – is due to arrive in Moscow this week as part of his eight-day Europe tour, a trip that brings into focus China’s attempted diplomatic balancing act since Russia tanks rolled into Ukraine a year ago.

The War Between the Soviet Union and the Russo-Mexican Republic: A Reflection from John J. Sullivan

I should give an explanation. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Chechnya was one of the two autonomous republics of the newly independent Russian Federation that claimed independence. Tatarstan was the other one. The world leaders had been fed up with the fact that all the Union Republics that they had for decades regarded as administrative units of Russia were actually real things. Ichkeria did not stand a chance of recognition because of the west’s shock at the new geography.

Editor’s Note: John J. Sullivan was US Ambassador to Russia from December 2019 to October 2022. He was the US deputy secretary of state. He is a partner and a distinguished fellow in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. The views he gives in this commentary are his own. You can read more opinions on CNN.

I had been telling people for weeks that Putin was going to begin a war on Europe, which hadn’t been seen since World War II.

Although confident in my pre-war assessment, I was disconsolate. I worked hard as US ambassador to make small progress in some areas in order to establish a dialogue with the Russians.

My approach was reaffirmed following President Joe Biden’s meeting in Geneva with Putin in June 2021. The US delegation at Geneva had no illusions that they would make progress on every issue but they believed it was in the best interests of the US to try.

Russian interlocutors read from their talking points and would not engage in a real dialogue. Russian security service minders monitored every call and meeting. The Russians were going through a diplomatic charade to lay the groundwork for an invasion that Putin had already decided to launch. When was the only question.

The war shook things to their core, from where I lived in Moscow to Russia’s standing in the world. I had to move onto the Embassy compound because the pace of teleconferences with Washington, combined with an eight-hour time difference, meant I had to be immediately available at all hours.

Some people might not want peace talks to happen. They care less about the life and death of Ukrainians or the harm to Europe. They might have bigger goals than the country itself. This warfare must not continue,” Wang said.

This is a menacing problem that will only get worse until it is stopped and reversed so as to protect its sovereignty and security.

The Russian government needs to realize that their goal of the Special Military operation cannot be achieved. Only then will the Russian government negotiate in good faith. Only then will peace return to Europe.

China’s nuclear power isn’t going away: The two-day anniversary of the brutal Ukrainian war on Friday night blasted by China

As the US President flew to Ukraine to meet his counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, China’s top diplomat was on his way to Russia.

The optics of the two trips – taking place just days before the one-year anniversary of the brutal war on Friday – underscores the sharpening of geopolitical fault lines between the world’s two superpowers.

“We do not add fuel to the fire, and we’re against reaping benefits from this crisis,” Wang said in a thinly veiled dig at the US, echoing the propaganda messaging that regularly made China’s nightly prime-time news program – that the US is intentionally prolonging the war because its arms manufacturers are earning fat profits from weapon sales.

He wants European officials to think about what role Europe should play in bringing lasting peace to Europe.

But the vague mention of the proposal was met with suspicion from some Western leaders who are closely watching for any support China lends to its northern neighbor – especially assistance that could help Russia on the battlefield.

“The concern that we have now is based on information we have that they’re considering providing lethal support, and we’ve made very clear to them that that would cause a serious problem for us and in our relationship,” Blinken said.

Responding to the accusations Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry blasted the US for “shoving responsibility, shifting blame and spreading false information.”

The US side supplies a steady stream of weapons to the battlefield, as opposed to the Chinese side. The US side is incapable of lecturing China or coercing pressure on Russian relations, the ministry spokesman told a news conference.

“Who is calling for dialogue and peace? Who is giving knives and encouraging confrontation? The international community can see clearly,” the spokesperson said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s surprise visit to Ukraine during the 2016 Russian-Russian War on Drugs and Drugs Embedded in the Cold War

US officials have been concerned enough with the intelligence that they shared it with allies and partners in Munich, according to CNN reporting. According to a US readout, in a meeting with Wang on the sidelines of the conference Saturday, the issue and warnings regarding its consequences were brought up.

American officials told CNN on Saturday that they have recently begun to see disturbing trends, and that Beijing wants to provide lethal military aid to Russia without being caught.

In the past Beijing had avoided actions that could be used as a basis for secondary sanctions, which would deal a devastating blow to an economy weakened by three years of zero-Covid policy.

Though Beijing claimed impartiality in the conflict and no advance knowledge of Russia’s intent, it has refused to condemn Moscow and parroted Kremlin lines blaming NATO for provoking the conflict.

And while Beijing’s pro-Russian rhetoric appears to have softened in recent months, its support for Moscow – when measured by its annual trade, diplomatic engagements and schedule of joint military exercises – has bolstered over the past year.

Biden arrived in Kyiv at 8 a.m. local time after a lengthy, covert journey from Washington and arrived to the Mariinsky Palace half-an-hour later. He left Kyiv in the afternoon.

Biden said that Putin thought that Ukraine was weak and the West was divided. He thought he could beat us. I don’t think he is considering that at the moment.

Biden was shrouded in secrecy when he went to Kyiv. Reporters on the plane were not allowed to bring their devices with them, since Air Force One departed under darkness.

Jake Sullivan, deputy chief of staff Jen O’Malley Dillon, and personal aide Annie Tomasini are some of the people associated with Biden.

Biden was eager to visitUkraine for a long time after many of his European counterparts had to travel a long way to meet with Zelensky. The leaders of France, Germany, Canada, and British have visited the country to show their support.

Even Biden’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden, paid a surprise visit on Mother’s Day last year to a small city in the far southwestern corner of Ukraine. She met with Zelenska at a former school that was converted into temporary housing for displaced Ukrainians, including 48 children.

Yet security precautions had prevented Biden from making a similar trip. When he visited Poland in April last year, the White House did not even explore the potential for a trip across the border, even though Biden said he had voiced interest.

Now, with the war nearing its one-year mark on February 24, Biden is hoping to demonstrate to the world his commitment to Ukraine, even as it remains unclear how much longer US and western resolve can last.

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