It is so significant that President Zelensky’s US visit is so significant

CNN’s Peter Bergen: The End of the Russian Invasion and the U.S. Failure to Prevent a Total Warfare Between Ukraine and Russia

While relations were dire, we were still looking for ways to stabilize our engagement with the world’s only other nuclear superpower. What US intelligence officials told senior policymakers in late 2021 about Russia’s preparations for an invasion of Ukraine, however, changed everything on which we had been working.

Peter Bergen is a national security analyst for CNN, a vice president at New America, and a professor of practice at Arizona State University. Bergen is an expert on the Trump administration. His views in this commentary are of his own. View more opinion on CNN.

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.

But with the ability to target major Ukrainian cities, including the capital, Russia has shown that it can still cause immense damage and dislocation. Monday’s strikes heightens Russia-Ukraine conflict to one of its most dangerous phases since 2014. There was a high degree of tension from Putin’s statements that tactical nuclear weapons remain on the table.

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. If Western governments don’t change Putin’s actions, rhetoric and sanctions won’t have an impact. They need to continue to arm Ukrainians and provide urgent training, even if it means sending military experts closer to the battlefield to speed up the integration of high technology weapons.

With even his allies expressing concern, and hundreds of thousands of citizens fleeing partial mobilization, an increasingly isolated Putin has once again taken to making rambling speeches offering his distorted view of history.

That includes not just the territory Russia has captured since the invasion began more than 10 months ago, but also Crimea, the peninsula that Russia illegally annexed in 2014 — “the area of independent Ukraine, as it was since 1991,” he said. As it will always be.

When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in December 1979, they planned to install a puppet government and get out of the country as soon as it was feasible, as explained in a recent, authoritative book about the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, “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.

That’s an important perception for the US since Ukraine, importantly, is not an official member of NATO, the treaty alliance Putin fears. One major reason the US has not provided more direct aid to Ukraine is concern that Putin would be provoked against NATO.

It is claimed that the air defense system can prevent a large number of missiles and drones from being fired. The Patriot is also a sign NATO’s best technology is on the table to help Ukraine win the war, or at least hold Russia back.

Remarks on Vladimir Putin and the Russo-Japanese War: A Tragic Example of Delusions and Illusions

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 was caused by the withdrawal of the Soviet forces from Afghanistan 2 years before, according to Putin.

Looking further back into the history books, he must also know that the Russian loss in the Russo-Japanese war in 1905 weakened the Romanov monarchy. The Russian Revolution began in 1917 because of Czar Nicholas II’s stupidity during the First World War. The Romanov family was shot to death by a Bolshevik firing squad.

Lawrence Freedman, the emeritus professor of war studies at King’s College London explains in his just-published book “Command: The Politics of Military Operations from Korea to Ukraine” how Putin plunged his countrymen into the Ukrainian morass.

Freedman writes that Putin is “a tragic example of how the delusions and illusions of one individual can be allowed to shape events without any critical challenge. The media is controlled by autocrats who put their cronies in key positions, and who are able to command their subordinates to follow foolish orders.

The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 may lead to another dissolution of the Russian empire, which happened in 1917 when the First World War ended.

Many senior US officials were surprised by Biden’s assessment due to the lack of new intel and the grim language he used.

Biden has said that his remarks serve as a window into a real discussion within his administration to calibrate the response to that environment.

Typically held with only a few dozen donors, Biden’s fundraisers are more intimate occasions where he often speaks from handwritten notes, only loosely following a script he’s written for himself. Biden speaks from a handheld microphone at his fundraisers and he often wanders around the room while he is talking. Reporters can listen and report on the President, but not film it, as a convention began during the Obama presidency.

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 the remarks, Biden takes questions from donors while reporters are ushered out.

Biden’s comments about the threat of nuclear Armageddon were not scripted and aides back in Washington first learned of them thanks to news reports and dispatches from the press pool.

Biden’s reference to the Cuban Missile Crisis was notable, both because it was the last time a US president spoke so overtly about the risks of a potentially impending catastrophe, but also because it’s 60th anniversary is just a few days away.

Nuclear weapons, tactical or otherwise, have no Escalation ladder when it comes to President’s use of Armageddon. There is only one outcome of a cascading response if there is a move in that direction.

Several officials pointed out thatPutin has been rattling his nuclear sabers for years, and that the US has been pondering the threats and potential for use since the first days of the war.

One official characterized the speech as “insane” and said that it reinforced the US view of Russian weakness and isolation. But it also increased concern about Putin’s willingness to escalate beyond the level of a rational actor.

White House officials decided not to say anything publicly Thursday night, and there are no plans to address the remarks in isolation so far on Friday morning. One official said that if Biden wants to address it himself, it will be apparent when he departs for his Maryland event later in the morning.

The most important thing is that US officials have seen no change in posture or intelligence that raises the threat level above where it has been.

In the last several weeks, the US has communicated with Moscow in detail about the scale of the US response should Putin go down that path. The details remain close to the vest, and will not change soon.

Kiev’s nuclear power plant hit by missile and drone attacks on Kiev during the weekend night of weekend attack on the Kerch Strap, a central Ukrainian city

Michael Bociurkiw is a global affairs analyst. He is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and used to be a Spokesman for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe He is an Opinion contributor to CNN. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. CNN has more opinion.

Even amid irrepressible jubilation here in Ukraine in the aftermath of a massive explosion that hit the hugely strategic and symbolic Kerch Straight bridge over the weekend, fears of retaliation by the Kremlin were never far away.

Within Ukraine, the economy continues to stumble from the impact of war and persistent missile and drone attacks on critical power infrastructure – including at least 76 strikes on Friday. Millions of Ukrainians are without electricity, heat or water during the winter. If they can defeat Russia, many say they are prepared to endure hardship for another two to five years.

The Taras Shevchev National University are near to the President’s Office Building, just a short walk from the Maidan Square. Five people were killed as a result of strikes on the capital, according to Ukrainian officials.

The area around my office in Odesa remained quiet as air raid sirens went off, with reports of three missiles and five drones being shot down. (Normally at this time of the day, nearby restaurants would be heaving with customers, and chatter of plans for upcoming weddings and parties).

Monday’s attacks also came just a few hours after Zaporizhzhia, a southeastern city close to the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, was hit by multiple strikes on apartment buildings, mostly while people slept. At least 17 people were killed and several dozens injured.

President Zelensky, in a video released Monday, argued that many of the missile strikes across Ukrainian 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 covered their ears as a small group of people performed patriotic Ukrainian songs in the metro station serving as a shelter.

Millions of people in Ukrainian cities will spend 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.

There are many regions of Ukraine that were beginning to roar back to life and with many asylum seekers coming home the attacks could cause another blow to business confidence.

The symbolism of the only bridge connecting mainland Russia and Crimea is not overstated by Putin. That the attack took place a day after his 70th birthday (the timing prompted creative social media denizens to create a split-screen video of Marilyn Monroe singing ‘Happy Birthday, Mr President”) can be taken as an added blow to an aging autocrat whose ability to withstand shame and humiliation is probably nil.

Hardwiring newly claimed territory with expensive, record-breaking infrastructure projects seems to be a penchant of dictators. In the year of 2018, Putin personally opened Europe’s longest bridge, the Kerch bridge. That same year, one of the first things Chinese President Xi Jinping did after Beijing reclaimed Macau and Hong Kong was to connect the former Portuguese and British territories with the world’s longest sea crossing bridge. The road bridge opened after two years of delays.

The Ukrainian crisis after the first Russian war: a desperate plea for Russia to stop warping and to destroy humanity in the coming epoch of reunification

The reaction among Ukrainians to the explosion was instantaneous: humorous memes lit up social media channels like a Christmas tree. Many shared their sense of jubilation via text messages.

Sitting still was never an option for Putin, as he was consumed by self-interest. He unleashed more destruction and death, with the force that comes from a former KGB operative, in order to respond.

It was an act of desperation, as Putin had placed himself on a level of thin ice as a result of the increased criticism at home.

“It has been repeated many times that Russia must not win the war. The phrase needs to be changed. Ukraine must win the war,” said Yermack. He spoke from the capital of Ukranian on a day when Russian warplanes bombed the city. “Their goal is to entail humanitarian catastrophe in Ukrainian towns and cities,” said Yermak. “They want to make living conditions too harsh to survive this winter. They want to cause more emigration and decrease the population of Ukrainians.

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.

The United States is going to send a Surface to Air Missile System to Ukraine, according to the CNN Investigative Report on Jonas Zelensky

High tech defense systems are needed to protect crucial energy infrastructure around the country. With winter just around the corner, the need to protect heating systems is urgent.

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.

The humanitarian crisis that will reverberate throughout Europe will be worsened if these measures are not put in place. The Kremlin will take a weak reaction to be a sign that it can weaponize energy, migration and food.

Biden will announce a new package of $18 billion, which will include a surface to air missile system that has been a longstanding request of the Ukrainians. CNN reported the US was going to send the Patriot systems to Ukraine.

As of a Department of Defense briefing in late September, the US had yet to deliver NASAMS to Ukraine. At that time, he was the Commander in Chief. There will be two systems delivered in the next two months, with the rest arriving in a year or so, said Gen. Patrick Ryder.

“I think he’s the leader of the United States, and that’s why he should come here to see,” Zelensky said in April during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper. As recently as last week, Zelensky said his invitation for Biden to visit Ukraine remained open, even as he acknowledged there were other means for them to speak.

The End of the Cold War? Putin, the United States, and the Petraeus-Cipher Brief: The Challenge of Foreign Relations in the War on Crimea

Russia launched a number of cruise missiles against targets acrossUkraine on Monday, according to the general staff of the armed forces.

Kate, we continue to watch his nuclear capabilities. And what I can tell you today is that we just don’t see any indications that Mr. Putin has made a decision to use weapons of mass destruction or even nuclear weapons. Kirby said that they had seen nothing that would give them cause to change their deterrent posture.

Zelensky was able to achieve the thing Putin wanted to achieve but failed to do in order to distract from his failures at home. In Putin’s mind, to be shown up by a mere ‘decadent’ comedian must be excruciatingly painful for him,” New York-based geopolitical and business analyst Michael Popow told me.

There is not much doubt that additional Ukraine aid will not be passed this fiscal year. The current spending package for Ukraine will end on September 30th, and they believe it will be the last major package.

Kirby told Kate that it was clear that he was feeling the pressure both at home and overseas.

To continue what has been a successful defense against Russia, despite appalling human suffering, Zelensky had to persuade Americans – in Congress and at home – that Ukraine’s fight is a fight for the values of the free world.

Petraeus spoke at an annual conference in Sea Island, Ga., run by The Cipher Brief, which brings together members of the national security community — current and former — to stand back and look at the big picture on global security.

Putin isn’t looking for a way out of the Ukrainian war, but he is trying to stay there: Yermak, Kolbe and Alperovitch

This justification for Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine is absurd on its face and has been rejected by overwhelming majorities in the UN General Assembly and the International Court of Justice.

A top Ukrainian official, Andriy Yermak, the chief of staff to President Zelenskyy, told the conference the conflict needs to end with a Ukrainian victory on the battlefield.

A former CIA officer who ran the Intelligence Project at Harvard’s Kennedy School says that the Russian leader is not looking for a way out of the conflict. In fact, he says, just the opposite. “Putin’s memory of running into an obstacle escalates when he does it,” said Kolbe. There’s a lot of tricks he can pull out to try to undermine the opinion of his followers in the West.

This is a big deal. Dmitri Alperovitch runs the think tank which says Putin is betting his presidency on staying in Ukraine.

Alperovitch referred to it as “a burning of bridges.” “What this means is that this war is likely to continue for many, many months, potentially many years, as long as he’s in power and as long as he has the resources to continue fighting.”

With winter bearing down and Putin’s forces using Iranian drones and other artillery to bombard crucial infrastructure, deliberately targeting civilian installations and leaving millions of Ukrainians in the cold and dark, “trying to use winter as a weapon,” in the words of President Joe Biden, “freezing people, starving people,” the suffering of Ukrainian men, women and children is worsening.

Comment on “The Ukrainian War” with the United States and the United Nations,” by Paul Kolbe, the Former CIA Director, and Greg Myre

In a ballroom filled with seasoned national security types, no one suggested that the war was close to an end. “Most wars end with some sort of negotiated solution, whether that comes out of stalemate or defeat, but I don’t see any prospects of talks in the near term,” said Paul Kolbe, the former CIA official.

This war began with a Russian invasion in 2014, he noted, and is now as intense as it’s ever been. Greg Myre covers national security issues for NPR. You can followgregmyre1.

“He’s not rushing to negotiate with Russia or to press (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky,” said one official familiar with Milley’s thinking. The discussion is of a pause in the fighting towards a political end state.

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.

The push for peace by Milley has spilled into the public in recent days, as the city of Kherson was taken by the Ukrainians. 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.

The comments left administration officials unsurprised – given Milley’s advocacy for the position internally – but also raised concerned among some about the administration appearing divided in the eyes of the Kremlin.

Biden plans to demonstrate to Putin and Russia that the resolve of the West is not waning when he visits the region this week. During his meetings with Poland’s President, he’ll reiterate his commitment to those countries’ security.

The United States is on the opposite pole of Milley’s position: a diplomatic solution to the Ukrainian-Ukranian conflict in Ukraine

In internal deliberations, officials said Milley wanted to make it clear that he wasn’t urging Ukrainian capitulation, but rather that now is an optimal time to end the war before it drags on into spring or beyond, leading to more death and destruction.

The view is not widespread in the administration. One official explained that the State Department is on the opposite side of the pole from Milley. The situation is unique because military brass are pushing for diplomacy more 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.

The US plans to buy 100,000 rounds of South Korean weapons for use in the conflict in Ukraine, as part of a broader attempt to find weaponry for the battles unfolding there, a US official said. 100,000 rounds of 155mm howitzer ammunition will be bought by the US and sent to Ukranian through the US.

Ned Price wouldn’t say if the State Department agrees with Milley’s position. Price was supposed to be responding to a position that US officials had made in recent months: that a diplomatic solution was needed because of what Zelensky had said.

A senior administration official stated that Biden will reinforce the message that the United States will stand with Ukrainians and the world for as long as it takes.

The Perfect Time to Meet Putin: A Conversation between the U.S. President and Russian Prime Minister, Sergei Petrovich Sakatsevich

Editor’s Note: Frida Ghitis, a former CNN producer and correspondent, is a world affairs columnist. She is a columnist for The Washington Post, a weekly commentator for CNN and a columnist for World Politics Review. Her views are her own in this commentary. View more opinion on CNN.

The talks were productive, at least according to the reports. The Chinese called them “thorough, frank, and constructive.” Biden said they were very blunt with one another, and agreed to try to avoid a Cold War. It wasn’t “Kumbaya,” the President said, but the two sides are perhaps less likely to start an accidental war against each other.

The democratic process in the United States is likely disappointing toXi and other autocrats, who are hoping that the divisions within the nation will show that democracy isn’t as good as they claim. 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.

As Biden and Xi were meeting, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made an emotional, triumphant return to the devastated, now liberated city of Kherson, the one 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. The Russian leader prepared for victory in Ukranian. The Olympics were hosted by the man who would solidify his control of China.

Biden rallied allies in a push to support Ukraine and the Ukrainians fought back with unexpected tenacity, as Putin’s adventure turned to disaster.

By the time Xi and Putin met again in September, China had done little to support Russia militarily, and Putin admitted that Xi had “questions and concerns” about Ukraine. More recently, after the Russian President thinly threatened to use nuclear weapons, Xi rebuked him.

Putin didn’t attend the G20 summit in Indonesia because he became a pariah on the global stage.

The Russian Military and Xi’s Status in the Prevalence of the First Biden-Russian General Reimbursement

To be sure, Biden is not the only leader with a strong hand. Xi has just secured an unprecedented third term as China’s leader, and he can now effectively rule for as long as he wants. He doesn’t have to worry about the elections, the press or the opposition party. He is the leader of a mighty country for a long time.

And yet Xi faces a mountain of daunting problems. The economy has slowed down so much that China is reluctant to reveal economic data. China’s Covid-19 vaccine, once a tool of global diplomacy, is a disappointment. China is imposing stringent restrictions in order to restrict the movement of people as the rest of the world return to normal after the Pandemic.

Also crucial in the epochal competition between the two systems is showing that democracy works, defeating efforts of autocratic countries such as China and Russia to discredit it and proving that unprovoked wars of aggression, aimed at suppressing democracy and conquering territory, will not succeed.

Officials said that there was more to the retreat of Russia than the election. US officials were unsure of when the Russians would acknowledge the withdrawal after military analysts said they had few other options.

The intelligence is not a formal assessment but a sign that Russia is still interested in influencing the political landscape of the US and probably miscalculated the impact an announcement would have on the elections.

“I find it interesting they waited until after the election to make that judgement, which we knew for some time they were going to be doing, and it’s evidence of the fact that they have some real problems – the Russian military,” Biden said at a press conference last Wednesday.

Biden said that he hopes the Russians will be willing to negotiate with US citizens held in Russia if the elections are over. After the election, the attorney for the basketball star decided to move her to a Russian prison to serve the remainder of her nine-year drug sentence.

The National Security Council said that CIA Director Bill Burns was in Ankara on Monday discussing American prisoners with his Russian counterpart, and that the bulk of the discussion centered around managing the risk posed by nuclear weapons. The NSC declined to comment for this story.

In November, Biden said that he would be surprised if a majority of the Republican caucus in the Congress wouldn’t fund the defense of Ukraine.

One person who is familiar with intelligence said that despite there being a strong bipartisan agreement on Ukraine, the Democratic Party has been more supportive of the Biden administration.

The US intelligence community has known for a long time that the Russian government was trying to help Donald Trump in the 2016 and 2020 elections.

Prigozny, who runs the Internet Research Agency, said on Telegram they will interfere in the US elections.

According to private researchers, suspected Russian operatives also used far-right media platforms to denigrate Democratic candidates in a handful of battleground states in the week leading up to this year’s midterm elections.

“For all our hoopla about their information operations and political meddling, they’re still not that great at it in the grand scheme,” said the source familiar with western intelligence. There is a fundamental cultural misunderstanding there.

Russian President Vladimir Putin himself did not announce the withdrawal — which Russia has termed a “maneuver” rather than a “retreat” — distancing himself from what has become a profound embarrassment for the Russian military. The withdrawal was heavily criticized by the Russian pro-war community.

“An announcement like this — no matter how Russia tries to spin it — it’s still clear that they’re giving up the only provincial capital that they seized during the invasion,” said one of the people familiar with the intelligence. “So it’s a ton of egg on their face.”

Zelensky received a Ukrainian flag during his surprise visit to the battered city of Bakhmut on Tuesday. He promised to give it to President Biden, according to Ukrainian media who joined him on the trip. The moment was captured on camera while his office had no comment. It was not clear, however, that Mr. Zelensky was actually preparing to imminently leave the country for the first time since the war began.

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, the French president, shook hands with Zelensky and hugged Putin.

Zelensky is instantly recognizable as the wartime president in trademark olive green, for his ability to stir the imaginations of people worldwide, as well as naming and shaming allies dragging their feet in providing his military.

The Ukrainian president is an eloquent speaker, but the images alone spoke with soaring power. Biden placed his hand on Zelensky’s shoulder. The warmth exuded by so many members of Congress as they greeted him. And then there were the words that were spoken.

“After the full-scale invasion, once he got into a position of being bullied by someone like Vladimir Putin he knew exactly what he needed to do because it was just his gut feeling,” Yevhen Hlibovytsky, former political journalist and founder of the Kyiv-based think tank and consultancy, pro.mova, told me.

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.”

Voyage of Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev: After the Petrovich Poroshenko Final Recuperation

It seems a long time ago that Zelensky celebrated his victory and thanked his supporters in a party in a nightclub. He stood on stage and looked as if he didn’t know what had happened when he defeated Petro Poroshenko.

Volodymyr Zelensky may find his ambitions of restoring the entirety of Ukraine’s sovereignty limited by the fact that he is being handled by a man with no diplomatic experience. 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.

His bubble includes many people from his previous professional life as a TV comedian in the theatrical group Kvartal 95. In the midst of a war, a press conference held at the platform of a Kyiv metro station in April featured perfect lighting and cameras to emphasize a wartime setting.

I remember the solace he brought to the people during the air raid sirens and explosions in the city with his nightly televised addresses.

Zelensky is projecting his confidence and competence in a modern way by wearing T-shirts and hoodies, rather than suits, as a young, global audience recognizes it, says a fashion historian.

“He is probably more comfortable than Putin on camera, too, both as an actor and as a digital native,” she added. “I believe both of them want to come across as relatable, not aloof or untouchable, although Zelensky is definitely doing a better job balancing authority with accessibility.”

Zelenska has shown she is an effective Communicator in international fora by projecting honesty, style and smarts when she journeys to where her husband cannot. She met with King Charles at a refugee assistance center at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family in London. (Curiously, TIME magazine did not include Zelenska on the cover montage and gave only a passing reference in the supporting text).

Zelensky has some strong winds at his back, but there may be signs that his international influence is waning. Zelensky urged the G7 to set a $30 price cap for Russian crude in order to cause more pain on the Kremlin but they didn’t.

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.”

WASHINGTON — President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine is expected to make a daring trip on Wednesday to meet with President Biden at the White House and address Congress in person, according to four people familiar with the planning.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will pay a dramatic surprise visit to Washington on Wednesday, using his first trip outside his homeland since it was invaded 300 days ago to rally his top international partner behind sustained military and economic assistance.

The speech was one of many that Mr. Zelensky has given this year in an effort to mobilize support for Ukraine outside of the country.

The office said that Zelensky met with the soldiers and gave them awards. The video was posted by state TV, and showed the president presenting awards to troops. Russian forces took the city of Bakhmut to the limit in May, but it was too late to save it.

American President Vladimir Putin meets with Ukrainian Prime Minister Olena Zelenska on Mother’s Day: How Russian Air Forces Prepare for a Cold War

There are suggestions that Congress is about to hold an unusual session. Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to all House lawmakers on Tuesday, asking them to show up to the Wednesday night legislative session in person, even though they are able to vote remotely.

The expectation from members, per several sources, is Zelensky will address Congress on Wednesday. The sources say this may not be final yet over security concerns.

Ukraine has been calling for the US to send the advanced long-range air defense system that is great at intercepting cruise missiles as it comes under a lot of Russian missiles and drones and has destroyed infrastructure across the country.

It is not clear how many missiles will be sent but if they are, each will have four missiles and a radar set that can detect and track targets.

The official said that US troops would teach Ukrainians how to use the system. CNN had reported that training would take place at a US Army base in Germany.

Unlike smaller air defense systems, Patriot missile batteries need much larger crews, requiring dozens of personnel to properly operate them. The training for the missiles usually takes several months, but because of daily attacks from Russia, the training is being done in a hurry.

The visit came at a crucial time in the conflict, with Russia preparing for an assault on its territory while air raid sirens could be heard around Kyiv.

In the evening of Friday, the final decision was made by Biden after a meeting in the Oval Office. Once the trip was on, US officials took steps to notify Moscow of their plans, an attempt at “deconfliction” meant to avoid unthinkable disaster while Biden was on the ground.

The Secretary of State and Defense Secretary went to meet Zelensky on the 25th of April. Even first lady Dr. Jill Biden paid a surprise visit on Mother’s Day last year to a small city in the far southwestern corner of Ukraine. Olena Zelenska was the Ukrainian first lady.

The House Appropriations Committee Summary: “No” votes on Ukrainian aid during Pelosi’s term in the House of Delegates are not enough”

The appearance would mark a potentially electrifying moment as Democratic control of the House — and Ms. Pelosi’s reign as speaker and a member of Democratic leadership — comes to a conclusion, with Republicans set to take over on Jan. 3.

Others indicated late Tuesday that their support for Ukrainian aid would be outweighed by their opposition to the spending measure, which must be passed by Friday to avoid a government shutdown. Kevin Cramer believes that voting against the spending bill doesn’t mean that we don’t support Ukraine.

The previous packages that sent billions of dollars in military and humanitarian aid to the US have been opposed by some Republicans in the House. Lauren Boebert, a far-right Republican from Colorado, was quick to mock the release of the new aid.

The Dark Side of Ukraine: Zelensky in the Battle of the Bulge and on December 7, 1941, in the era of World War II

What we consider before using anonymous sources. Do the sources know the information? What’s their motivation for telling us? Have they been reliable in the past? Can we verify the information? Even with these questions satisfied, The Times uses anonymous sources as a last resort. The reporter and at least one editor know the identity of the source.

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.

The historian Doris Kearns Goodwin compared Zelensky’s address to one given by Winston Churchill on Boxing Day in 1941 after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

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 would help Kyiv better counter Russia’s brutal missile attacks on cities and electricity installations, which it has mounted in an effective attempt to weaponize bitter winter weather to break the will of Ukrainian civilians.

The speech was symbolic because it was Zelensky’s first trip to another country since the war began, and he came to a country that had been able to defend itself so far.

Zelensky was a master of historical allusion and public relations theater. He argued the war in Ukraine was at a turning point – drawing an analogy to the Battle of Saratoga, a rallying point for an outgunned army against a superpower enemy in America’s revolutionary war. He was talking about the heroism of the US soldiers who were in the Battle of the Bulge in December of 1944 in order to defeat Nazi Germany’s last attempt to repel the allied liberation of Europe. FDR promised a certain, hard-won victory for freedom during the war.

The morning of December 7, 1941, was a terrible one when the Pearl Harbor was attacked. Just remember it,” Zelensky said. On 9/11, evil tried to turn your cities, independent territories, into battlefields. Nobody else expected innocent people to be attacked and you couldn’t stop it. Every day our country is the same.

The Central Cause of the Day of January 6th: Former President Donald Trump and the Senate Appropriate Action for a Joint Study of the 1941-46 British-Ukraine Wartime

The wartime British leader sailed to the United States aboard HMS Duke of York, dodging U-boats in the wintery Atlantic and took a plane from the coast of Virginia to Washington, where he was met on December 22, 1941, by President Franklin Roosevelt before their joint press conference the next day.

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 are likely to be appreciated by the Ukrainian leader. He paraphrased one of Churchill’s most famous wartime speeches in an emotional address to British members of parliament in March.

The additional $907 million of foreign military financing would be provided under the Ukraine supplemental appropriations act, according to the administration.

During its final public meeting, the panel referred former President Donald Trump to the Justice Department for several criminal charges.

“That evidence has led to an overriding and straight-forward conclusion: the central cause of January 6th was one man, former President Donald Trump, who many others followed,” the committee writes in a summary of its final report released on Monday. “None of the events of January 6th would have happened without him.”

The Senate wants to take the necessary procedural steps Wednesday to pass the fiscal year 2016 spending bill and send it to the House where it is expected to be adopted.

Sam Bankman-Fried in New York: Tax Audits, Expulsions, and the Highest Loss Under the Biden Administration

There is no deadline for the Supreme Court to issue an order that will keep the border restriction in place, even though it was set to expire on Wednesday.

The Supreme Court should reject the emergency bid by a group of GOP-led states, because legal challenges play out, according to the Biden administration. It asked for the court to delay the ending of Title 42 until at least December 27 because of the upcoming holiday weekend and a mass influx of migrants.

The rule has allowed border officials to immediately turn away migrants who have crossed the southern border illegally, all in the name of Covid-19 prevention. There have been nearly 2.5 million expulsions – mostly under the Biden administration, which has been bracing for an influx of arrivals if the authority lifts.

The Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday asserted that the IRS failed to properly audit Trump’s taxes while he was in office. It released a report that detailed six years’ worth of the former president’s tax returns, including his claims of massive annual losses that significantly reduced his tax burden.

The extradition hearing for FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is expected to be scheduled for Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET, according to Nassau Magistrate Court administrator Alpha Grant.

Grant said that Wednesday’s hearing would happen after Jerone Roberts, Bankman-Fried’s Bahamian attorney spent several hours in the courthouse Tuesday and then left.

Bankman- Fried was arrested in the night before his scheduled appearance before the House Financial Services Committee, at his home in the Bahamas.

The American Air Defense Challenge with Russia: The Case Against a “Round Line” Between NATO and the Ukranian Regime

There are two key headline deliverables: first, the Patriot missile systems. They are considered to be 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.

The second are for Ukrainian jets. Ukraine, and Russia, largely are equipped with munitions that are “dumb” – fired roughly towards a target. Ukraine has been provided with more and more Western standard precision artillery and missiles, like Howitzers and HIMARS respectively.

The larger year-end spending bill includes an increase in US defense spending, which will give American weapons and money to replenish their stock in Ukranian.

But Moscow is struggling to equip and rally its conventional forces, and, with the exception of its nuclear forces, appears to be running out of new cards to play. The use of nuclear force is not likely to happen thanks to China and India joining the West in statements against it.

Western analysts have noted Russia has grumbled consistently about these deliveries, but been relatively muted in its practical response to the crossing of what, as recently as January, might have been considered “red lines.”

Biden wants to get Putin to hear that the Russian population is in the billions and that European partners should help more and make the resources of Ukraine seem infinite.

This is not easy. Kevin McCarthy, the likely new Speaker of Congress, warned the Biden administration not to expect a “blank cheque” from the new House of Representatives.

U.S. Rep. Volodymyr Zelensky during a Decelerating Cold War: Implications for Russia and the United States

The remnants of the Trumpist “America First” elements of the party have doubts about how much aid the US should give to eastern Europe.

The bill for the slow defeat of Russia in this long and dark conflict is not very significant for Washington given its large defense budget.

Members of the United States Congress, Republicans and Democrats, rose to their feet time and again Wednesday night, nearly drowning out Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in one emotional standing ovation after another. It was an extraordinary evening, concluding an extraordinary day during a crucial moment in history.

He assured Congress that their money isn’t charity, and he promised them to debate billions more in military and economic support. It is an investment in global security and democracy that we can handle in the most responsible way.

Zelensky said that the American people would win through to victory. The Ukrainian people will win as well.

The soldiers fighting in the brutal battle for Bakhmut asked him to give their battle flag to the Congress, as a token of their gratitude. Tears were shed in the House.

Zelensky spoke at an historic time as both Democrats and Republicans know what is at stake in the fight against Putin and Russian aggression as well as with Iran.

He concluded, “May the New Year bring all this. We are prepared to fight for it. That’s why each of us is here. I’m here. We are here. You are here. Everyone is here. We are all Ukraine.”

She hoped that they would send more than one. She noted there’s “been some reluctance in the past” by the US and NATO to provide advanced equipment, but added “We’ve seen with our own eyes how effective Ukrainian military is.”

As the war between Ukraine and Russia escalates, Clinton said the leader is likely impossible to predict, as his popularity fades at home.

Clinton thinks that Putin is considering throwing bodies of Russian conscripts into the fight in Ukraine.

Biden told Zelensky at a news conference that the world was bracing for the fall of Kyiv one year ago. The event was carried by its own symbolism, but not because it didn’t feature the leaders cowering in a Bunker, but because it went ahead in an ornate room like any other leader’s press conference.

Emerging from their talks, both men made clear they see the war entering a new phase. Russians are growing concerned that there will be a stalemate as Russia wages a brutal air campaign against civilians.

Zelensky departed Washington for a lengthy and risky return trip to Ukraine, yet there was no clear indication that a path to ending the conflict was any clearer.

He doesn’t see a road to peace whereUkraine gives up territory or sovereignty.

Later, in his address to Congress, Zelensky said he’d presented a 10-point peace formula to Biden – though US officials said afterward it was the same plan he offered to world leaders at the Group of 20 summit last month.

Biden went to the Mariinsky Palace on Monday to talk to President Zelensky about the next phase of war, which US officials describe as having arrived at a critical juncture.

Zelensky peppered his address to lawmakers with references to American history, from the critical Battle of Saratoga during the American Revolutionary War to the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.

He made a choice to deliver the address in English, which was telegraphed before 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 vs. President Biden: A Brief Look at the State of Ukraine and the Struggle for Global Democracy

Zelensky has demonstrated an ability to appeal to many groups at the same time, be it the audience of the national legislatures or the fans of the Grammys.

On Wednesday he sought to summon Americans’ emotional response to his country’s suffering, as Russia tried to interrupt the power supply.

He said that Ukrainians will celebrate Christmas by using candles, not because it is sexy or romantic, but because there will be no electricity. Russia has destroyed much of the electrical grid.

He knew that many Americans have wondered aloud why billions of US dollars are needed for a conflict thousands of miles away. He sought to make the cause about more than his own homeland.

He said that the fight betweenUkraine and the old soviet empire was more than just a fight over an old grudge. It was his fight, to preserve global democracy, that was the reason for it.

It does not take much to see tensions beneath the surface. Zelensky has been demanding additional US help despite Biden directing tens of billions of dollars to his country.

Biden and Zelensky have a good relationship on the surface. And Zelensky was effusive in his praise of Biden as he went from the Oval Office to the East Room to Capitol Hill.

Biden or his team have found that it doesn’t sit well with them. As he has with a lot of other foreign leaders, Biden appeared intent Wednesday on getting a better sense of his counterpart.

The goal is to look at someone in the eye. I mean it as sincerely as possible. He thinks that there is no substitute for sitting face to face with a friend or foe and looking them in the eye.

The War Between the US and Russia: A Memoir of Zelensky during the December 22nd Evening in America, with an Associated Report from CNN

This story was adapted from the December 22 edition of CNN’s Meanwhile in America, the daily email about US politics for global readers. Click here to read past editions and subscribe.

The comic actor-turned-wartime hero effectively put the fate of millions of Ukrainians in the hands of American lawmakers, taxpayers and families at a time when there is growing skepticism among the incoming Republican House majority about the cost of US involvement.

Zelensky handed Pelosi and Harris a flag he retrieved from the Bakhmut battlefront on Tuesday after giving a speech in the House chamber.

I was told to bring this flag to congress, to members of the house of reprehensibility and to the senators who will save millions of people.

The uncertainties and risks of a war between the US and Russia couldn’t be concealed by Zelensky’s inspiring rhetoric and heroic bearing.

— To Americans, Zelensky professed deep thanks for tens of billions of dollars in weapons and aid offered and to come. He argued that they couldn’t abandon the independence hero without also taking something away from their national identity.

— To the incoming House Republican majority, some of whose members want to halt aid, the Ukrainian leader’s hero’s welcome in the chamber suggested they would be shamed if they choose to forsake him.

— To Europeans, enduring their own grim winter of high electricity and heating prices after cutting off from Russian energy, and who may be minded to push for an end to the conflict on Putin’s terms, Zelensky showed that the West is united and that Biden means it when he said Wednesday the US is in “for as long as it takes.”

Zelensky compared Ukrainian soldiers to Americans who fought back Hitler’s forces during Christmas of 1944, saying they are doing the same for Putin this Christmas.

What will happen after the new football team is installed? After that, we will send another signal to President Biden that we would like to get more Patriots,” Zelensky said during a White House news conference. He mentioned in his address to Congress that they have cannon. We have it. Is it enough? Honestly, not really.” Both times, he was joking but that didn’t mean that he wasn’t deadly serious. Zelensky asked for more weapons to spur victory in his address to Congress.

The statement said that Biden got security guarantees in advance, and went to Kyiv. There were disagreements about the outcome of the battle and the new weapons that would be used. And here it is important to note that the West already delivers weapons and money to Kyiv quite regularly. The NATO countries are able to make money and steal weapons from other countries in huge quantities.

The president has tried to balance his need to defend European democracy with his desire not to set Russia on fire and to avoid crossing invisible red lines, which are known only to Putin.

The Elephant in the Room: When Zelensky and Biden Meet to Thrive on the Battle for the Minds of the World

It is not certain that America’s lawmakers will be able to fund their own government next year because of the partisan fury likely to erupt in Washington.

Several Republican members who have expressed reservations about aid to Ukraine – like Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Matt Gaetz of Florida – did not stand to applaud when Zelensky was introduced.

Zelensky, who just returned from a trip to the bloody front lines in Ukraine, was on the House floor in his signature green military wear to shore up his supply line.

On the dais where heads of state usually sport suits, Zelensky embraced the look of a warrior as he used confident English to claim “joint victory” in what he said was the defeat of Russia in the “battle for minds of the world.”

Although he did not speak about the elephant in the room, the speech was a clear plea to Republican lawmakers to stay with Ukraine.

His remarks came as Congress had been planning to vote this week on a year-long spending bill that includes roughly $45 billion in emergency assistance to Ukraine and NATO allies.

Zelensky could have addressed the joint meeting of Congress on Wednesday if he wanted to, but Republicans are poised to take over the House next month and Zelensky thinks he won’t get the chance to speak. In less than a year, the US has provided $21 billion in defense assistance. The new weapons deal was announced when Zelensky and President Joe Biden met in the White House.

He recalled that in World War II when the US got a foothold in Europe, they were surrounded in the snow.

He’s already established in the American people’s mind we are in this together, but then he says that they will take care of us and we will finish the job. In an interview with Anderson Cooper Wednesday evening,Granite said that they had heard that.

What Will Biden Tell Us About Ukraine? A Congressional Leader Comes Up with Questions about Russian Aid to Ukraine and the Role of Correlations

An address to Congress is the ultimate platform for a foreign president in the US and maybe around the world. It’s in contrast to Vladimir Putin, who canceled his annual year-end press conference.

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.

New money pledged by the White House and a larger bill that needs to be passed before Friday’s deadline is what made it substantive.

House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, who wants to be House speaker and needs votes from Ukraine-skeptical Republicans to get there next month, did meet with Zelensky and the other three top congressional leaders.

McCarthy said after the speech that he supports Ukraine, but he never supports a blank check. “We want to make sure there’s accountability for every money that we spent.”

The only Ukrainian-born member of Congress, Indiana GOP Rep. Victoria Spartz, has expressed skepticism about some of the aid to Ukraine and concerns about corruption in Zelensky’s administration.

Top 100 Digital Stories of the Uvalde, Texas, World War II, 1989-1997 School Shooting and The Ellen DeGeneres Show

It was historic and DEADLY, and was not just another year that tried patience and nerves. Russian President Vladimir Putin did what was unimaginable to many, launching the largest land war in Europe since World War II. All too common horrors were unleashed once more on American schoolchildren in Uvalde, Texas, and in many, many other mass shootings in the United States. luminoscents who gave light to our lives were no longer around.

When news breaks, the world comes to CNN, as it has for more than 40 years on television and more than 25 years on digital platforms. More than 165 million people come to CNN Digital every month, according to Comscore.

The other stories among our top 10 most read, watched or listened to were the tragic school shooting in Uvalde, our election night streaming of CNN’s TV coverage of the midterms and our digital pages of up-to-the-second results from hundreds of races.

The impact on womens lives and US politics, as well as mass shootings and natural disasters, were a recurring top story.

Interest and fear surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic waned as the pandemic itself did, but the last weeks of the year have brought new worries, especially in China. History has taught us that pandemic developments know no borders.

CNN has millions of people sign up for it. Stephen “tWitch” Boss was the amiable DJ for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and he died tragically. There were bright moments too: like the Good Samaritans that made a difference in the lives of strangers.

According to our internal data, every piece on the Top 100 stories list received more than three million visits this year.


The 7th Day of the Ukrainian War: We’re here for you, we’re going to have something to say about every minute. What did we learn about Ukraine?

Thank you for being here with us through it all. We promise we will be here for you in 2023, for every breaking news story and for every piece of joy, delight and triumph.

There are 27 days. Live story: Russian military strike hit a civilian evacuation crossing point outside of Kyiv, killing at least eight people, including two children

The President of Ukraine spoke on New Years Eve about the year that began on February 24 when Russia invaded, but ended with him hopeful about his country’s future.

Zelenskyy stood next to the prime minister, his chief of staff and a baroque building in the heart of Kyiv on the second day of the war. Zelenskyy recorded on his phone and sent a defiant message.

“This year has struck our hearts,” he said, according to a translated transcript posted on his official website. We have cried out all the tears. The prayers have been said. 311 days. We have something to say about every minute.”

The attack on the Russian military and how Vladimir Putin is doing it: A red line in the sand: diplomacy, strategy, and the history of wars that might still happen

All Ukrainians — those working, attending schools or “just learning to walk” — are participating in Ukraine’s defense, Mr. Zelensky said. And although 2022 could be called a year of losses, he said that was not the right way to think of it.

The world has rallied around Ukraine, Mr. Zelensky said, from the main squares of foreign cities and their halls of government to the top of Google’s search results.

The author of “A Red Line in the Sand: Diplomacy, Strategy, and the History of Wars That Might Still Happen” is a CNN contributor and two-time winner of the Deadline Club Award. He was a CBS News correspondent in Europe and Asia. His views are his own in this commentary. View more opinion at CNN.

If the account is correct, the cell phones that the novice troops were using in violation of regulations allowed the Ukrainians to target them more accurately. The attackers have not said how the attack was executed. The implications for how Russia is conducting its war is much deeper than that.

It is telling that days after the deadliest known attack on Russian servicemen, President Vladimir Putin called for a temporary ceasefire, citing the Orthodox Christmas holiday. The move was not welcomed byUkraine and the US, it was a cynical attempt to get some breathing room for the Russian forces.

Russian officials said that four Ukrainian-launched HIMARS rockets hit the vocational school where its forces were housed, apparently adjacent to a large arms depot. Two more HIMARS rockets were shot down by Russian air defenses.

Russia meanwhile continues to stockpile arms and ammunition in large quantities close to the troops they will supply and well within range of enemy weaponry. Standard military practice dictates that large depots be broken up and scattered and that they be located far behind enemy lines — even within Russian territory that western powers have declared off-limits to Ukrainian strikes.

Russia’s failure to break up its large arms depots is a result of the reality that their forces cannot communicate adequately, according to a senior fellow for the Defense Program at the Center for New American Security.

It is a view shared by other experts. “Bad communications security seems to be standard practice in the Russian Army,” James Lewis, director of the Strategic Technologies Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), told me in an e-mail exchange.

The troops killed in Makiivka seem to have been recent conscripts, part of a larger picture of Russian soldiers being shipped to the front lines with little training and deeply sub-standard equipment and weapons.

Indeed, a number of the most recent arrivals to the war are inmates from Russian prisons, freed and transferred immediately to the Ukrainian front. The use of cell phones by prisoners accustomed to years of isolation with little or no contact with the outside world would be appealing.

Semyon Pegov, who blogs under the alias WarGonzo and was personally awarded the Order of Courage by President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin two weeks ago, attacked the Ministry of Defense for its “blatant attempt to smear blame” in suggesting it was the troops’ own use of cell phones that led to the precision of the attack.

He questioned how the Ministry of Defense could be certain that soldiers were not in the school building when they were there.

The Warsaw Warsaw Puzzle: Putin, Russia, and the PAMELA-2020 Warsaw Deal – A Flick with the Past and Present

The question is when Putin will be blamed for the mess and why he hasn’t promised to change the leadership. The last change was the appointment of Sergei Surovikin as the first person to be placed in overall command of all Russian forces on the Ukraine front — an army general formerly in charge of the brutal Russian bombardment of Aleppo in Syria.

The deputy defense minister for logistics is known as the butcher of Mariupol and he replaced a four-star general. The arms depot was near the recruits and would have been watched over by Mizintsev.

As recently as Saturday, Sergei Shoigu told his troops in a video: “Our victory, like the New Year is inevitable.”

The US was considering sending Bradley armored fighting vehicles to Ukraine, just this week. French President Emmanuel Macron also announced he would be sending light tanks, though Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky was urging the dispatch of heavier battle tanks. The Chancellor of Germany has been under pressure to add its powerful Leopard 2 tanks.

White House officials said that in Biden’s upcoming speech from Warsaw’s castle marking the anniversary of the war, the president plans to speak to the costs the war has inflicted on the rest of the world. He and his aides have sought to downplay the possibility that Republicans would try to cut American aid to Kiev. GOP leaders are mostly in favor of Ukrainian independence.

McCarthy’s troubled bid for the Speakership has led to more than a dozen unsuccessful votes this week and there are concerns that it could affectUkraine aid.

Several Republican members who switched their votes to support McCarthy on Friday said that they are encouraged by the framework of an agreement but provided no details about the deal.

The recent drawdown on Ukrainian assistance to Ukraine: an insurance policy against a protracted legislative paralysis in the US and Europe’s moral compass

That number was even higher than President Joe Biden requested – a reflection of Democrats’ concern that additional funding wouldn’t be as forthcoming in a GOP-led House. In some ways, that number was an insurance policy against Republican resistance and the view inside the White House was that that figure would sustain US support for several months.

“This is a harbinger for a protracted legislative paralysis,” the diplomat said, adding that “the Freedom Caucus – which is not particularly pro-Ukrainian – has just demonstrated its clout.”

McCarthy would make a number of maneuvers to get the role and others were watching to make sure he did not make any cuts to aid.

One diplomat told CNN they are concerned about policy concessions McCarthy will make which could affect the US role in the world.

A third diplomat expressed concerns concessions like crucial committee assignments, such as the House Rules Committee, could be given to lawmakers who have advocated against more aid to Ukraine, which could create immense hurdles for passing additional assistance legislation.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday welcomed the latest drawdown, saying it was an “awesome Christmas present for Ukraine!” And lawmakers in Ukraine told CNN they are not concerned that the future of assistance is at risk, noting the strong past bipartisan and public support for aiding their country.

Russia invested a lot of money in the undersea line to Germany which it wanted to use to increase global sales and exert more economic leverage over Europe. Germany was the first to get on board. Washington wasn’t.

The United States didn’t want the new, high-capacity subsea supply to supplant old overland lines that transited Ukraine, providing vital revenue to the increasingly Westward-leaning leadership in Kyiv.

The trans-Atlantic power dynamic has changed because of the Chancellor’s refusal to go it alone in sending tanks to Ukraine and demanding that the US join him.

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 been shown that trust in the US has been replaced by pragmatism in Europe.

Europe’s moral compass was the former Chancellor of Germany. After finding unexpected metal in his ponderous, often stop/go/wait governing coalition, and winning thunderous applause in Germany’sBundestag on Wednesday, he flashed a rare moment of steely leadership.

Putin’s Cold War and the War Between the USA and the Kremlin: A Conversation with Putin at a White House Meeting on the Future of the Cold War

He told them that he wouldn’t put them 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 dealt with the crisis and that he was in a better position.

The applause at each step of his carefully crafted speech spoke as loudly 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.

Russia would use nuclear weapons if attacked and it wouldn’t allow itself to be defeated, says the former Russian president.

The mixed messaging has some Muscovites CNN spoke with after the announcements by Biden and Scholz on tanks confused. A majority of people said that Russia would win despite the heavy death toll and the fact that they grouped the US and Germany together.

Scholz has not been aware of Putin’s changing popularity, or whether he believes it is relevant at this moment, but his actions may help ease Putin’s iron grip on power.

The United States and other Western nations have been shipping tranches of arms, tanks and ammunition to Ukraine, steadily increasing what they are willing to provide in the hopes of changing the trajectory of the war. Zelensky wants heavier weapons and fighter jets.

The power dynamic shift might not change how the war is fought but it could affect the final deal and shape a peace when it comes.

NPR’s State of the Union: The U.S. and Ukraine’s Armed Forces in the midst of a Cold War

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met leaders in London, Paris, and Brussels and repeated his call for allies to send fighter jets toUkraine.

Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova attended President Biden’s State of the Union speech, for the second year in a row, but the war in Ukraine received far less attention in the address this time.

According to the investigators, there is a strong indication that Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the go-ahead for the supply of anti-aircraft weapons to the rebels.

There are past recaps here. You can find more of NPR’s coverage here. Listen to NPR’s State ofUkraine for updates throughout the day.

A spokesman for the armed forces, Col. Serhiy Cherevaty, said on Ukrainian television that soldiers need to keep their focus on building defensive lines. He said that part of the reason for barring civilians from entering the city was to keep military operations secret.

Bakhmut isn’t of strategic value for Moscow or Kyiv as a prize. It has significance because of the amount of blood spilled to claim it.

“Even if Bakhmut were to fall, it would not have a strategic impact on the overall war,” said the National Security Council spokesman, John Kirby. “I would go so far as to say it won’t even have necessarily a strategic impact on the fighting in that part of the country.”

After World War II, the Russian Embassy in Brussels reaffirmed: “I’m afraid I can’t do that,” said US Defense Secretary John J. Austin

In Brussels, Western officials deflected questions about whether Ukraine would win its campaign to secure still more powerful weapons to use against its Russian enemy.

Asked in Brussels on Tuesday whether fighter jets had been discussed, Mr. Austin, the American defense secretary, said, “I don’t have any announcement to make today.”

John J. Sullivan was the US Ambassador to Russia. Previously he was the US deputy secretary of state. And is now a partner in Mayer Brown LLP and a Distinguished Fellow at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. The views he expresses are of his own. Read more opinion on CNN.

For weeks, I had been telling everyone I could reach that Russian President Vladimir Putin was going to launch a war on the continent of Europe, the scale of which had not been seen since World War II.

Although confident in my pre-war assessment, I was disconsolate. For the past two years, I worked hard to make progress in the few areas where any dialogue could be had with the Russians.

My approach was reaffirmed following President Joe Biden’s meeting in Geneva with Putin in June 2021. No one in our US delegation at Geneva had any illusion that we would certainly make progress on any particular issue, but all agreed it was in the interests of the United States to try.

The engagement was reduced to a grave Russian threat to Ukraine and “security guarantees” from the United States and NATO. It was obvious that the Russians did not intend to negotiate in good faith.

Russian people don’t engage in a real dialogue because they read from their talking points. Minders from the Russian security services monitored every meeting and phone call. The Russians were going through a diplomatic charade to lay the groundwork for an invasion that Putin had already decided to launch. The only question was when.

The war changed everything, from where I lived in Moscow to Russia’s standing in the world. The Embassy compound was where I had to go since the teleconferences and an eight-hour time difference made me unavailable at all hours.

More significantly, the invasion roiled the global economy, including energy and grain markets. And most tragically, it slaughtered thousands of innocents and caused unspeakable suffering for millions of Ukrainians because of a policy choice by Putin in his quest for empire.

Yet the merciless Russian violence (which has forced almost 15 million Ukrainians to become refugees or internally displaced), the catastrophic missile strikes on civilian targets and the unlawful occupation of sovereign Ukrainian territory continue. And all by a country, Russia, that is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, whose mission is to preserve and defend world peace.

This is a menacing global problem that will only get worse—the economic toll alone is staggering—until it is stopped and reversed on terms acceptable to Ukraine that will protect its sovereignty and security.

The Russians did not negotiate in good faith before the war, and they will not do so now. There is no “off ramp” until Putin achieves his longstanding goals.

This raises Lenin’s famous question: what is to be done? I believe the way forward for the United States is, first, to double down on diplomacy to convince those nations that have not joined in stoutly supporting the defense of Ukraine of the moral, political, legal and military necessity of doing so.

Only then will the Russian government realize that the goals of its Special Military Operation cannot and will not be achieved. The Russian government will have to negotiate in good faith. Then the peace will return to Europe.

A Secret Journey Through the Borders with the United States and the Ukraine: The Case for a Little Visit by the Ukranian Prime Minister

On Saturday evening, before he departed, Biden went out to dinner with his wife in Washington. He wasn’t seen in public again until arriving in Kyiv on Monday morning.

The White House had to put in extraordinary measures to keep Biden’s plans a secret. In the weeks prior to Biden’s trip, he and top aides shot down the possibility of a trip to Ukraine. The position was maintained in the hour leading up to the arrival of Biden.

Biden is traveling with a relatively small entourage, including national security adviser Jake Sullivan, deputy chief of staff Jen O’Malley Dillon and personal aide Annie Tomasini.

They first began visiting Kyiv in March 2022, when the prime ministers of Poland, Slovenia and the Czech Republic all arrived by train. The visits from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, German Chancellor and French President were in April of this year.

Biden’s wife paid a surprise visit on Mother’s Day to a small city in the far southwestern corner of Ukranian. She met Zelenska at the school that was converted into temporary housing for displaced Ukrainians.

Yet security precautions had prevented Biden from making a similar trip. Even though Biden said he had expressed an interest in going across the border, the White house did not explore the possibility of doing so.

The First American Visit to a War Zone: Joe Biden and his wife Vanessa in Washington, and his next trip to the United States is scheduled for Moscow

Zelensky may or may not be willing to accept certain parameters, and the US has refused to say what a settlement may look like beyond stating it will be up to Zelensky to decide.

According to American officials, the US has recently begun seeing disturbing trends and there are signs that Beijing is planning to provide lethal military aid to Moscow without being caught.

The officials would not describe in detail what intelligence the US has seen suggesting a recent shift in China’s posture, but said US officials have been concerned enough that they have shared the intelligence with allies and partners at the Munich Security Conference over the last several days.

Wang, who was named Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s top foreign policy adviser last month, is expected to arrive in Moscow this week, in the first visit to the country from a Chinese official in that role since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“There is no doubt that the U.S. support for the war in Ukraine is vital to the future of that country,” Biden said.

But with no end to the war in sight, polls show a growing number of Americans are concerned about how much money has gone to the war — and some Republican budget hawks have said they would like to curtail the spending.

On Saturday night, President Joe Biden went out for a date in Washington with his wife and they enjoyed a meal of rigatoni with bacon and sausage.

He was seen in public again 36 hours later, on a bright winter day, as air raid sirens wailed a reminder of both the risks and the reason for traveling to a country still wracked by war.

Biden risked his life to visit an active war zone with no significant US military assets on the ground.

The Ukraine Crisis: Joe Biden’s Air Force Trip to Kyiv Embedded in October, 2016, confided in his White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield

“This is so much larger than just Ukraine. He said that it’s about freedom and democracy in Europe and at large.

That was in part due to the fluid nature of the trip itself. Even as the White House officials looped in on the idea, the realities of sending a president to a war zone with no control over the air space was daunting.

No notice was given to reporters on Sunday that Biden was no longer in Washington. The official White House schedule, released Sunday evening, still listed his departure for Poland at 7 p.m. ET on Monday.

“We’re going to continue to use our convening power, to marshal the world, to galvanize support for Ukraine, but there are no plans for the president to enter Ukraine on this trip,” NSC spokesman John Kirby said in an interview on MSNBC’s “The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart.”

But at that point, Biden had already lifted off from Joint Base Andrews hours before, not in the usual plane that is synonymous with Air Force One, but instead in a smaller Air Force C-32.

There would be a stop to refuel at a US base in Germany before continuing the flight into Poland. As he jetted eastward, Biden’s focus was plotting out his conversations with Zelensky, hoping to use his limited time wisely in discussing the coming months of fighting.

It was the culmination of a process that began months earlier, as Biden watched as a parade of his foreign counterparts each made the journey into Ukraine.

In the planning stages for this trip, Biden was presented with a range of options for a visit to Ukraine but decided that only the capital Kyiv made sense as a venue, a person familiar with the matter said.

“This was a risk that Joe Biden wanted to take,” said White House communications director Kate Bedingfield. “It’s important to him to show up, even when it’s hard, and he directed his team to make it happen, no matter how challenging the logistics.”

On Monday, after the trip concluded, national security adviser Jake Sullivan declined to say whether Biden had to overrule Secret Service or military officials in order to proceed with the trip.

“He got a full presentation of a very good and very effective operational security plan. He heard that presentation, he was satisfied that the risk was manageable and he ultimately made a determination (to go),” Sullivan said.

Joseph Biden in Kyiv: A Demonstrative Huntiation of Russia, or Did He Happen to Walk Through Ukraine?

In the daylight, the president of the United States walked through Kyiv, visiting a historic church as air raid sirens wailed and stood exposed in St. Michael’s Square with President Zelensky.

In a speech planned for Tuesday, Putin will have to respond to what Biden said today, as he claimed the upper hand.

Texas Rep. Mike McCaul, the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, complained on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that Washington had taken too long to send game-changing weapons to Ukraine in the past and should not make the same mistake with warplanes. Asked if the Biden administration was now considering the dispatch of F-16 fighter planes, the Texas Republican replied: “I hope so,” and added, “I think the momentum is building for this to happen.”

This is because they would enhance Ukraine’s capacity to potentially strike at Russian jets and air defense systems inside Russia. The use of NATO aircraft in such operations – even with Ukrainian pilots – could prompt the Kremlin to conclude the alliance has directly intervened in the war, increasing the risk of a disastrous escalation of the conflict Biden has tried to avoid.

The journey required energy and endurance and seemed to be a jab at critics who questioned whether Biden should think about a reelection election at an older age.

And like Biden’s State of the Union address earlier this month, his stagecraft infuriated the most extreme wing of the Republican Party, which Biden has said is a danger to US democracy and values. Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, for instance, quickly slammed Biden for journeying to Ukraine and other GOP figures accused him of caring more for Kyiv’s borders than those in the US.

This is an insult. The president of the United States decided to give up America and go to war with Ukraine in order to make the American people pay for it. I cannot tell you how many Americans hate Joe Biden.

Stand for the values of liberty and democracy and the right of the people to resist tyranny enforced at the point of the gun from a foreign oppressor and you could be president.

It was Biden in Kyiv. Demonstrative humiliation of Russia,” Russian journalist Sergey Mardan wrote in a snarky response on his Telegram channel. The stories of miraculous hypersonics may be left for children. Just like spells about the holy war we are waging with the entire West.”

Russian army veteran and former Federal Security Service (FSB) officer Igor Girkin meanwhile suggested that Biden could have visited the frontlines in eastern Ukraine and escaped unharmed.

“Wouldn’t be surprised if the grandfather (he is not good for anything but simple provocations anyway) is brought to Bakhmut as well… AND NOTHING WILL HAPPEN TO HIM,” Girkin said.

Some of the hardline military blogs, including Girkin, provide analysis of the conflict for large swaths of Russians, and have criticized what they consider a “soft” approach on the battlefield by Putin’s generals.

Putin will not be happy about the debate over Biden’s visit, which will focus on the ongoing invasion of his country.

Participants of what Russia refers to as its “special military operation” will be in attendance but foreign guests or representatives will not be invited, the Kremlin’s spokesperson told reporters Monday.

Also on Wednesday, the U.N. General Assembly holds a special session on Ukraine. The Security Council discusses a Russian request. And Russia’s parliament will hold extraordinary meetings.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy opened the Munich Security Conference, speaking via video link to attendees including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and Vice President Kamala Harris. The vice president said that Russia had committed crimes against humanity.

NATO defense ministers met in Brussels, where Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg urged a boost in ammunition to Ukraine, warning that the Kremlin is preparing for new offensives and attacks.

Ukranian President Zelenskyy as a Sensitive Political Man during World War II: The War Between the Soviet Union and Ukraine

A Yale University team reported that the Russian government has established a network of at least 40 child custody centers for thousands of Ukrainian children, a potential war crime.

Zelenskyy began his transformation the morning of Feb. 24, 2022, when Russian soldiers intended to capture or kill him. The president decided to stay put.

Arestovych said they asked what about cruise missiles. He said that he would stay here. Arestovych said he raised the possibility of Russian saboteurs and assassins. He said Zelenskyy refused again.

People had wondered if Zelenskyy would flee. Zelenskyy downplayed the threat of war, even though he seemed unprepared according to the Anti-Corruption Action Center. That he stood his ground in Kyiv, she says, “honestly, it was a surprise for me.”

Zelenskyy was an entertainment mogul and a household name in Ukranian. He ran for office because of a character he created for a TV show.

It’s about a high school teacher who spoke out against corrupt politicians in Ukranian. When a student captures the rant on video and posts it on social media, Zelenskyy’s character becomes a sensation and is swept into office.

Zelenskyy won in a landslide with 73% of the vote as a real-life candidate. He named his political party Servant of the People.

During the campaign, Zelenskyy pledged to end the war with Russia in the east of the country, boost the economy and attack corruption. He did not govern as many had hoped.

In the early days of the war, public opinion went against him because of his decision to stay in Kyiv. By August, about 90% of Ukrainians said they approved of his job performance. The character actor knew what the Ukrainian people need in times of crisis.

Zelenskyy received international support. Six days into the invasion, he addressed the European parliament by video and brought the English interpreter to tears.

Speaking to the U.S. Congress in December, this time in English, he quoted another wartime leader, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, drawing huge rounds of applause.

“I believe that today in the information space there is too much information about a full-scale war,” said the president, standing in the middle of a street before a table stacked with microphones.


The Kherson region of Ukraine is not prepared for invasion by the russian army: Reply to a Ukrainian parliamentarian asking questions about the situation in the south

Chornovol served in Ukraine’s parliament from 2014 to 2019. Later, she joined the military. I met her in the Kherson region last fall, where her job was to fire small missiles at Russian armor.

Chornovol says that the Ukrainian army left the route open to invasion, even failing to mine the bridges to stop the Russian advance.

Chornovol showed me her camouflaged missile weapon, which was camouflaged with Astroturf. There was not enough time to prepare for the invasion. Kyiv was not fortified in any way.”

Jack Watling, senior researcher in land warfare at the Royal United Services Institute in London, says a brigade and a half of troops were supposed to be deployed to the area, but weren’t. Ukrainian officers warned higher-ups the south was vulnerable to a Russian attack.

Because Ukraine remains at war, parliamentarians are careful not to launch domestic political attacks. A Ukrainian lawmaker with the European Solidarity party says that they’ll be asking tough questions about what happened in the south after the defeat of Russia.

People here blame the swift loss of the region on the SBU, Ukraine’s intelligence service. Zelenskyy fired the head of the SBU in July, because he had no security experience.


A Good President During the First World War, and What Would He Do?” “Some people think that impossible is impossible”, says Yermolenko

“He’s a good president during war,” she says. “He’s not a very good president during a non-war period. He does not tolerate different opinions and he trusts people who are his friends.

It was an actor who was there at the time. She says Zelenskyy used to watch her troupe perform and sought advice on becoming a dramatic actor. She discouraged Zelenskyy, who is under 5-foot-6.

Zelenskyy studied law at Kryvyi Rih Economic Institute, where his father is a renowned educator. Natalya Voloshanyuk, a finance professor, recalls Volodymyr as clever, funny and self-confident.

“She said, ‘You should be proud that you study at this university,’ ” Voloshanyuk recalls, “to which he replied, ‘One day you will be proud that you taught me.’ “

“The Soviet Union collapsed and out of this anarchy, you can create something new,” Yermolenko says. “I think Zelenskyy’s one of one of those people. The good thing is that these people think that impossible is nothing and you can create anything.”

People identify themselves with him, or he identifies with the people, and they really recognize themselves in him. And I think this is the most important thing.”

Joe-Ben-Poland Trip: A Cold War Memorino for the First Twelve Months of Russia’s Cold War and a War of Attrition

Nearly a year later, Biden returns to the Royal Castle this week to mark the anniversary of a war that has increasingly put him directly at odds with the Russian leader, a Cold War dynamic underscored by Biden’s highly secretive visit to Kyiv a day earlier.

The war appears poised to go on for at least another year, since Putin’s forces have appeared to retreat in recent months and observers have predicted a collapse of the Russian economy under the weight of sanctions. There are no serious negotiations taking place at the moment.

Biden announced Monday he would join European nations in announcing new sanctions on Moscow and unveil another security assistance package on top of the tens of billions already committed this year.

“Freedom is priceless. It’s worth fighting for, for as long as it takes. And that’s how long we’re going to be with you, Mr. President – for as long as it takes,” Biden told Zelensky in Kyiv on Monday.

This week will be more about the year ahead than it has been the past 12 months because Biden has not been able to say precisely how long that will be.

Biden has left a mark on the war from billions of dollars in arms shipments to the newly invigorated Western alliance, and nearly all of his presidency has had a consequence of the war. It caused convulsions in the global economy and created political problems at home while still providing Biden an opening to demonstrate his claim that America is back.

The surprising resilience of the Ukrainian people, along with the unexpected ineptitude of the Russian forces, have prevented a full takeover. Instead, the war has become what NATO’s chief Jens Stoltenberg described last week as a “grinding war of attrition” without a discernible end.

“I think it is wise to be prepared for a long war,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who will visit Biden at the White House early next month, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Friday.


Is the War in Poland or Ukraine with the West On The Side? A Message for the Global Security Council and the High-Dimensional Security Council

The West cannot continue to provide unlimited support forever, as shown by the polls showing that support for the war effort is waning.

“I do have to say that there is a concern, both in Poland and in Ukraine, about the staying power of the US beyond this administration. The director of the German Marshall Fund said that this war would not look the same without the support of the US.

“The fact is that we are fighting with time, right?” Baranowski said. It is on whether or not time will be on the side of Russia, who has a lot of money to spend on the West. That’s what gives me pause. I hope that we are able to hold onto the power.

Poland has absorbed a lot of refugees during the war, and his comments will be translated into both Polish and Ukrainian.

John Kirby, the communications person at the National Security Council said that the president would give a message for people all around the world.

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