Day 362: Biden Makes Surprise Visit to Ukraine

    Day 362: Biden Makes Surprise Visit to Ukraine
    Last updated Feb 20, 2023
    Image credit: Getty Images [via The Guardian]


    • US Pres. Joe Biden made an unannounced visit to Ukraine on Monday — his first to the country since Russia launched its invasion nearly a year ago. Biden had been publicly scheduled to visit Poland, but instead traveled through the country to arrive in Kyiv and meet with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
    • "As the world prepares to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine," said Biden via a White House statement. "I am in Kyiv today to meet with Pres. Zelenskyy and reaffirm our unwavering and unflagging commitment to Ukraine’s democracy, sovereignty, and territorial integrity."
    • The statement added that Biden will discuss continuing military support for Ukraine, including artillery ammunition, anti-armor systems, and air surveillance, which will formally be announced in a package later this week.
    • It comes as the EU's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, issued a stark warning about the ammunition situation in Ukraine on Monday, urging Western partners to speed up deliveries. "It is the most urgent issue," he said: "If we fail on that, the result of the war is in danger."
    • Meanwhile, on the ground, Russian attacks were recorded in the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Sumy, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia over the past day. Three civilians were killed and one was injured in Donetsk, while a further three civilians were killed and eight others were injured in Kherson.
    • In Ukrainian attacks, one civilian was killed and 12 others were injured in shelling of Russian-held territory in Donetsk on Monday, according to pro-Russia officials. One civilian was also killed and another was injured in Ukrainian shelling of the Russian region of Belgorod on Monday.


    Pro-establishment narrative

    Biden's visit to Ukraine — which comes as the war reaches a critical juncture — is a sign of unwavering support for Ukraine and demonstrates that the US is prepared to back Kyiv for as long as it takes.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    While the Biden administration is publicly announcing it will support Ukraine for as long as it takes, behind closed doors it's a different story. Private discourse suggests that US backing for Kyiv's expensive and, possibly, unachievable military goals may have an expiration date.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 2% chance that Ukraine will officially recognize a former Ukrainian territory (Luhansk, Donetsk or Crimea) as independent before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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