February 20, 2023

In Biden’s Unannounced Visit to Kyiv, a Preview of an Increasingly Direct Contest With Putin

Source: The New York Times

Journalists: David E. Sanger, Anton Troianovski

“Everyone — Ukraine, Europe and now countries in Asia — wants to rearm,” Richard Fontaine, the chief executive of the Center for a New American Security and a former Republican national security official, wrote after the Munich conference. And he noted a frisson of anxiety about whether the West’s aid to Ukraine could continue at current levels for much longer — meaning that “in a long war of attrition, Moscow might have the upper hand.”

Mr. Zelensky, appearing by video, had one message to his weapons suppliers. “We need to hurry up,” he said. “We need speed.”

And for all the good feeling created by Mr. Biden’s visit on Monday, Mr. Zelensky is unlikely to conclude that Mr. Biden is hurrying enough. Mr. Biden remains worried, aides report, that the F-16 fighters and long-range missiles that Mr. Zelensky demands could provoke a wider, more direct conflict with Russia, because they could reach deep into Russian territory. And that, in turn, might tempt Mr. Putin to renew his threats to reach into his arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons.

Read the full story and more from The New York Times.

Authors

  • Richard Fontaine

    Chief Executive Officer

    Richard Fontaine is the Chief Executive Officer of CNAS. He served as President of CNAS from 2012–19 and as Senior Fellow from 2009–12. Prior to CNAS, he was foreign policy ad...