Protection & Nationwide Safety — President Zelensky goes to Washington

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to fulfill with President Biden and to handle Congress because the U.S. has pledged a significant new weapons bundle to the embattled nation.  

We’ll share what was mentioned in the course of the assembly and Biden’s pledge to Ukraine. Plus: we’ll look at what’s within the new deadly help bundle, and the Senate confirms the most recent ambassador to Russia. 

That is Protection & Nationwide Safety, your nightly information to the newest developments on the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and past. For The Hill, I’m Ellen Mitchell. A buddy ahead this article to you? Join right here or within the field under.

Biden: US to face with Ukraine ‘so long as it takes’ 

President Biden on Wednesday pledged to face with Ukraine for “so long as it takes” throughout a press convention alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr  Zelensky, vowing to assist Kyiv win on the battlefield earlier than any peace talks might happen with Moscow. 

Biden’s remarks, which got here throughout an unprecedented go to to Washington by Zelensky, underscored a view that U.S. help for Ukraine — navy, financial and humanitarian — should proceed for an undetermined period of time into the longer term. 

What was mentioned: Biden additionally recommended that an finish to the battle would imply a win by Ukraine on the battlefield, which might additionally strengthen future potential talks between Zelensky and the Kremlin. 

  • “We’re going to assist Ukraine succeed on the battlefield — if and when President Zelensky is able to discuss to the Russians, he’ll have the ability to succeed as effectively as a result of he could have received on the battlefield,” Biden mentioned.
  • Zelensky echoed the president’s remarks {that a} “simply peace” for Ukraine is about guaranteeing all the nation’s territory was liberated — and safe — from Russia.  

No compromises: “For me, as a president, simply peace is not any compromises as to the sovereignty, freedom, territorial integrity of my nation, payback for all of the damages inflicted by Russian aggression,” Zelensky mentioned. 

The historic wartime press convention on the White Home got here amid the Biden administration’s newest bulk of help to Ukraine throughout its battle with Russia, most notably within the type of an extra $2 billion in safety and humanitarian help that features a Patriot missile battery, a complicated aerial protection system to assist Ukraine in opposition to Russia’s focused assaults on the nation’s vitality and electrical energy infrastructure. 

Winter as a weapon: “Russia is utilizing winter as a weapon,” Biden mentioned. “Freezing folks, ravenous folks, slicing them off from each other. It’s the newest instance of the outrageous atrocities the Russians are committing in opposition to harmless Ukrainian civilians, youngsters and their households.” 

Reward: Biden additionally praised Ukraine’s navy successes, saying that, “Ukraine has received the battle of Kyiv, received the battle Kherson, received the battle of Kharkiv, defied Russia’s expectation at each single flip” and praised Zelensky for being open to “pursuing peace, a simply peace.” 

Risks to return: However the president added, “We all know that Putin has no intention of stopping this merciless battle.” 

Zelensky and his high officers have been warning in latest days that Russia is making ready to resume its invasion on Ukraine with an enormous floor offensive with an estimated 200,000 troops. 

A historic go to: Zelensky spoke to the historic nature of his go to to Washington, his first journey outdoors of Ukraine since Russia launched a full scale invasion in February, and mentioned the primary mission of his journey was to “strengthen Ukraine.” 

The Ukrainian president, who can also be addressing a joint assembly of Congress on Wednesday, spoke to issues that some Republicans have expressed opposition to continued U.S. help to Kyiv, whilst nearly all of Democratic and Republican lawmakers have voiced dedication to supporting Ukraine. 

Learn the remaining right here 

US to ship Patriot system to Ukraine in new bundle

America for the primary time will ship a Patriot missile battery to Ukraine as a part of a significant $1.85 billion weapons bundle, the Pentagon revealed Wednesday.  

The make up: The brand new deadly help, introduced in live performance with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s go to to Washington, D.C., contains $1 billion in presidential drawdown authority, which has the U.S. navy pull weapons from its personal stockpiles to ship to Kyiv. 

One other $850 million in help will come by way of the Ukraine Safety Help Initiative, which means the Protection Division will purchase instantly from trade. 

A serious weapon: The bundle will embrace one Patriot air protection battery and munitions. The vehicle-mounted system is designed to hit mid- and high-altitude targets comparable to missiles, fighter jets, bombers and drones with a view to shield navy and civilian targets.  

“Russia’s unrelenting and brutal air assaults in opposition to vital infrastructure have solely bolstered the necessity to present Ukraine with refined air protection capabilities,” the Pentagon mentioned in a press release. “At President Biden’s route, the US has prioritized the availability of air protection techniques to assist Ukraine defend its folks from Russian aggression.” 

Preliminary hesitation: Till now, the US had held off on sending the Patriot system to Ukraine over fears it might escalate the battle. However the Biden administration has modified its place after weeks of deliberation over the extremely labeled know-how the weapon comprises.   

Additionally included: The weapons bundle additionally contains further ammunition for Excessive Mobility Artillery Rocket Techniques (HIMARS), 500 precision-guided 155mm artillery rounds, mortar techniques and rounds, 37 Cougar Mine Resistant Ambush Protected automobiles, 120 Excessive Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Automobiles, six armored utility vehicles; Excessive-speed Anti-radiation missiles (HARMs), precision aerial munitions, 2,700 grenade launchers and small arms and different gear and arms. 

Learn that right here 

Additionally from The Hill

Ambassador to Russia named earlier than Zelensky go to

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Lynne Tracy as the brand new U.S. ambassador to Russia, backing her nomination on the identical day Ukraine’s president is making a historic go to to Washington that serves to underscore assist for Kyiv amid Russia’s invasion. 

Tracy will take over the diplomatic submit at a interval of rock-bottom relations between the U.S. and Russia, with contacts between Moscow and Washington constricted to the best ranges of presidency and on solely essentially the most delicate points. 

The vote: The Senate confirmed Tracy in a vote of 93-2, with Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) each voting “no.” 

  • Tracy, who beforehand served as U.S. ambassador to Armenia, can be tasked with “standing as much as” Russian President Vladimir Putin, Senate Majority Chief Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) mentioned on the Senate flooring forward of the vote.
  • Schumer mentioned Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “couldn’t arrive at a extra essential second for the Senate” and urged the chamber to additionally move one other $45 billion in emergency funding for Ukraine as a part of Congress’s large year-end funding invoice for fiscal 2023. 

Concerning the function: Tracy’s arrival in Moscow comes after the earlier ambassador, John Sullivan, left the submit in September shortly earlier than the demise of his spouse.  

The function of ambassador in Moscow is seen as a key communication hyperlink with the Kremlin in efforts to advance U.S. pursuits, which embrace restarting talks on nuclear nonproliferation — the newest talks being “postponed” by Russian over U.S. assist for Ukraine. 

Tracy will even be tasked with making an attempt to safe the discharge of Paul Whelan, an American imprisoned in Moscow since 2018 and convicted on espionage fees. The Biden administration has criticized his detention as unjust, supporting Whelan’s assertions, and people of his household, that the spying fees are trumped up. 

Learn the remaining right here 


That’s it for at present. Take a look at The Hill’s Protection and Nationwide Safety pages for the newest protection. See you tomorrow!