Ahead of a planned visit to Poland, President Joe Biden made a surprise pitstop in Ukraine on the eve of the first anniversary of the Russian invasion. Traveling by train, the president arrived in Kyiv to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky to tout his achievements in creating a “coalition” of nations and announce a further round of aid.
This visit comes at a time when Ukrainian intelligence, GUR, suggested that the Kremlin would be carrying out “nuclear exercises” in order to upset European unity against Russia. The agency said, “Such actions of the military and political leadership of the Russian Federation, in particular, are an attempt to hinder Joe Biden’s visit to Europe, which is scheduled for February 20-22, through direct nuclear blackmail and to weaken international support for Ukraine.”
The surprise nature of the visit will almost certainly be seen as a bold move by the US president, with many news outlets citing the danger of entering “an active war zone.”
A Litany of Putin’s Losses
Speaking from the podium alongside Zelensky, the president detailed the battlefield and economic losses suffered by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his forces over the last year. “When Putin launched his invasion nearly one year ago, he thought Ukraine was weak, and the West was divided,” Biden said. “He thought he could outlast us. But he was dead wrong.” He reaffirmed that the United States has an “unwavering and unflagging commitment to Ukraine’s democracy, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.”
This secretly executed meeting also signified that further cash and military equipment would be delivered to the belabored nation. Hinting at more announcements in the next few days, Biden said, “I will announce another delivery of critical equipment, including artillery ammunition, anti-armor systems, and air surveillance radars to help protect the Ukrainian people from aerial bombardments. And I will share that later this week, we will announce additional sanctions against elites and companies that are trying to evade or backfill Russia’s war machine.”
A Global Coalition
The president discussed the cooperation between more than 50 nations in the pushback against Russia, citing the assistance and leadership of supranational organizations such as NATO. “Over the last year, the United States has built a coalition of nations from the Atlantic to the Pacific to help defend Ukraine with unprecedented military, economic, and humanitarian support — and that support will endure.”
“We’re going to be with you, Mr. President… for as long as it takes.”
A Global War Expansion?
As Joe Biden seeks to build more international support for Ukraine, a number of Americans and US lawmakers are feeling fatigued by the billions of taxpayer dollars being sent overseas. It is estimated that Putin has a further half million soldiers to send into the fray, and it should be noted that historically, Russia has always been willing to spend lives in a war of attrition.
A significant concern is a recent visit by Secretary of State Antony Blinken to China, where he suggested that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was already providing aid to Russia. He noted that in the meeting with CCP leaders, he had expressed “deep concerns” about the “possibility that China will provide lethal material support to Russia.”
“To date, we have seen Chinese companies… provide non-lethal support to Russia for use in Ukraine. The concern that we have now is based on information we have that they’re considering providing lethal support,” he said.
A number of strategists have warned that Vladimir Putin is preparing for a drawn-out period of suffering in the hopes that his country can last longer than the United States. While President Biden will no doubt win international plaudits for his Ukraine visit, it is domestically that his ultimate political success will be determined.
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