Vladimir Putin is upping pressure on Ukraine, sending thousands of Russian soldiers to its border. Some believe it is a ploy to win upcoming parliamentary elections while others believe it was in response to remarks Biden made about the Russian president.
The temperature of the Ukraine-Russia conflict has risen slightly as Russian troops have begun “massing” at the border between the two nations.
- The president of Ukraine visited the region near the border in support of his nation’s troops and to “directly assess the situation”, in which both sides blame the other for the uptick in hostilities.
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel is taking the lead on international negotiations to de-escalate the situation, urging Russia to remove “troop reinforcements” in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.
- The development, about which the Biden administration is “increasingly concerned”, will be among many topics of discussion as Biden’s Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin visits Europe.
- According to CNN, the United States is debating whether to send additional naval assets to the Black Sea as a warning to Putin not to further escalate tensions.
- The Washington Post’s Editorial Board is warning of Putin’s continued belligerence and penchant for using international situations as a way to boost electoral support, urging “the West” to be ready with material support for Ukraine if conflict further flares.
- Newsweek reported on several Russian officials, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, warning it would be “the end of Ukraine” if tensions turn to war.
- On the right, OANN and Newsmax ran wire reports on the situation between Ukraine and Russia.
- Conservative blog RedState framed several international situations, including Russia’s bullying of Ukraine, as the result of Biden’s lack of action, though somewhat graciously characterizing it as Biden “getting credited with Obama’s fecklessness” as a remnant of his time as Vice President.
- The Wall Street Journal also characterized the same situations as a “power test” for President Biden, though it said China’s naval buildup near the Philippines is the greater threat to U.S. interests.
- Fox News reported the recent addition of 28,000 Russian troops on its border with Ukraine was because Putin’s feelings were hurt when President Biden called him a “killer” in a TV interview.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021