President Joe Biden made an unannounced visit to Kyiv on Monday, promising President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that the United States would stand with Ukraine as long as it takes. Biden praised Ukrainians for their bravery in resisting Russia's invasion and promised $500 million worth of weaponry, including artillery ammunition, anti-armor systems, air defense radars, and tighter sanctions on Russia.
Russia Preparing for Winter Offensive Ahead of War Anniversary
The war's first anniversary has taken on more than symbolic significance, becoming the principal motivation for the war's deadliest phase. Moscow is hurling thousands of conscripts and mercenaries into a winter offensive to secure full control of two eastern provinces that form Ukraine's Donbas mining and industrial region. Kyiv, absorbing a major influx of Western weaponry for a planned counter-offensive, has lately stuck mainly to defense on the battlefield.
Diplomatic Signals of Support for Russia and Ukraine
Washington has expressed concern that Beijing could begin supplying Moscow with arms. China's foreign minister Wang Yi is expected in the Russian capital for talks. At the same time, China has remained neutral over the conflict despite signing a "no limits" friendship pact with Russia weeks before the invasion. Meanwhile, the West has pledged far greater military support for Ukraine, including hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles, but Kyiv wants more, including longer-range rockets and warplanes.
Recriminations and Casualties in Failed Russian Assaults
The failed Russian assaults on Vuhledar, where Ukrainian forces are guarding the junction of the eastern and southern fronts, have led to recriminations among Russian pro-war bloggers. Western governments say Moscow has lost thousands of men and scores of armored vehicles trying to storm Vuhledar across fields scattered with landmines. Since February 24th, 2022, the war has killed tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilians and soldiers on both sides, driven millions from their homes, and reduced cities to rubble.