The U.S. president authorized new military aid for Ukraine and leveled new sanctions on Russia this week as the West braces for a possible conflict escalation by Russia’s unpredictable leader.
Analysts believe Putin had hoped to use Victory Day to declare a military victory. Still, ten weeks after the invasion, Moscow has failed to conquer Kyiv and is making plodding progress in the eastern Donbas region. Taking Mariupol is key to creating a land bridge connecting Russia to Crimea.
Biden authorized a new $150 million package of assistance for Ukraine, and the U.S. has imposed visa restrictions on 2,600 Russian and Belarusian military officials and 35 banking executives. It is banning U.S. companies from advertising on Russian television stations.
Western officials have been preparing for Putin’s possible formal declaration of war, who has claimed that the invasion is to de-Nazify Ukraine. Britain will provide $1.6 billion in assistance to Ukraine.
Putin could use a nuclear strike on a NATO logistics hub or a demonstration of nuclear capability in an isolated area to distract the West and put pressure on NATO, said retired Army Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges.
The Pentagon has authorized the drawdown of equipment for Ukraine since August 2021. The kit includes 155mm artillery rounds, counter-artillery radars, electronic jamming equipment, field equipment, and spare parts.
The U.S. has committed $4.5 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden administration. However, Congress still needs to approve more aid, and the latest request for $6 billion is unclear how quickly it could be approved.
Uncertainty looms in all directions, and we can only pray that it all works out for peace and return to somewhat normalcy.
- Biden administration braces for Putin’s Victory Day surprise POLITICO
- Why is Russia’s Victory Day so important to the country? – BBC News BBC News
- Putin has put himself at the center of Russia’s Victory Day. But he has little to celebrate CNN
- Moscow’s mood ahead of Victory Day mixes anxiety and resilience Reuters
- Why May 9 is a big day for Russia, and what a declaration of war would mean WQOW TV News 18
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