Live Updates: Russia’s War in Ukraine
For months, Russian President Vladimir Putin has waited and watched, hoping for a fracture of the remarkable Washington consensus built by President Joe Biden on the need to do everything possible to defend democracy in Ukraine.
Now, finally, the first cracks can appear.
There is no indication that the US$18 billion military aid pipeline that helped Ukraine fend off Russia’s onslaught is in immediate jeopardy. But stirrings of political opposition to an endless US role in the war are growing on both sides of the aisle just two weeks before November’s midterm elections.
Even the slightest hint of a softening of American resolve could comfort Putin as the Kremlin strongman prepares to inflict a painful winter on Ukrainian civilians and Europeans dependent on Russian gas.
In what can only be described as a political debacle on Tuesday, progressive Democrats published, then withdrew, a letter originally signed in June that called on the White House to match its efforts to arm Ukraine with a strong diplomatic effort to engage Russia and seek a ceasefire. It came days after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the possible next speaker, warned that Kyiv could not expect a « blank check » on aid if the GOP was in charge next year.
Ex-President Donald Trump, a possible future Republican candidate, has meanwhile complained about the cost of supporting a government locked in a fight with his hero, Putin, and dragged him into his first impeachment using military aid in a coercive scheme.
It is clear that a bipartisan consensus to help Ukraine still exists in Washington. But rumors that Biden’s tough line on Russia does not always enjoy near unanimous support have come at a particularly sensitive time as the West seeks to discredit Russia’s latest round of nuclear rhetoric – a warning. that Kyiv could use a dirty bomb.
The allegations have led to high-level talks between US and Russian military leaders and are widely interpreted as scarier tactics or perhaps an attempt by Moscow to create a false flag operation that could be used as a pretext for its own use of weapons. of mass destruction.
Read the full analysis here.