President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Monday, meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and pledging to continue military aid.
The Details: In his first visit to Ukraine since the war began a year ago, Biden visited the presidential palace and walked the streets of Kyiv alongside Zelenskyy. He also announced roughly $500 million of additional military assistance to Ukraine. Zelenskyy had previously invited Biden to Ukraine several times.
Biden then went to Poland to meet with other NATO leaders. Friday, Feb. 24 is the first year anniversary of Russia's "special military operation."
The Response: Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a nationwide address soon after Biden's Kyiv trip, blaming the West for the war and suspending a nuclear arms pact with the U.S. that placed limits on the number of long-range nuclear warheads held by each country.
How the Media Covered It: Biden's visit was a top story across the spectrum this week. Voices from both left and right praised Biden's trip as courageous and an important show of support for Ukraine in the face of Putin's aggression. The left more often described the moment as evidence of Biden's strong diplomatic pedigree.
Others on the right criticized Biden for visiting Ukraine before visiting the site of the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment and environmental disaster. Some also highlighted fear that U.S. troops would eventually be deployed to fight Russia if U.S. involvement in the conflict continues.
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Snippets from the Left
Biden’s Kyiv visit shows Putin seriously misjudged his courage
Eugene Robinson for Washington Post (opinion)
"What many people fail to understand about Biden, the oldest president in our history, is the extent to which he is guided by a sense of mission. He came out of retirement and ran for the White House only because he believed he had the unique ability, and thus the obligation, to save the nation from another four years of Donald Trump."
In a war of unending surprises, Biden has another up his sleeve
"The risky trip on Monday to an active war zone was not just a powerful symbol of American support, it was a shot in the arm to a population that has endured Russia’s devastating attacks on civilian apartment blocks, hospitals, schools and the power stations that provide heat and electricity."
Snippets from the Center
Five takeaways from President Biden’s trip to Ukraine
The Hill (analysis)
"[More weapons] are clearly important in bolstering Ukraine’s defenses. But the announcement was also notable because there was no suggestion of the U.S. pushing forward with more advanced weaponry than Ukraine has already received."
How Biden's surprise trip to Kyiv was kept secret - but not from Russia
"U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan, who accompanied the president, said U.S. officials did notify Russian officials that Biden would be traveling to Kyiv. 'We did so some hours before his departure for deconfliction purposes,' he told reporters on a conference call, declining to provide more details."
Snippets from the Right
Unless You’re Willing To Send Your Son To Fight Russia, Don’t Egg On Biden’s US Involvement
The Daily Caller (opinion)
"If the government gets this right in Ukraine, it will be one in a row. Governments distract citizens with problems they cause and then act like they cure them, like the COVID quarantines and vaccine mandates, and China’s hot air balloons. This war is the latest U.S. shiny object government distraction for us. Say what you will about Putin, he got rid of the 'COVID pandemic.'"
Biden got it right on Ukraine: The West can’t allow Russia to win
New York Post (opinion)
"Bottom line: Putin has no path to victory if the West stands strong. The only thing that will end the war is his realization that it’s just not going to work. Biden must now live up to his promise not to go wobbly — and ensure the allies don’t, either."