Biden, Putin Speak as US Evacuates Kyiv Embassy Staff

President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke Saturday as US believes an invasion of Ukraine is imminent.


US President Joe Biden spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin for over an hour on Saturday after the US evacuated embassy staff from Kyiv ahead of a possible invasion.

  • US intelligence sources believe Russia could invade Ukraine on February 16. Previously it was believed Putin would wait until after the conclusion of the Beijing Winter Olympics on February 20.
  • Biden told Putin the United States would impose “swift and severe costs” if Russia invaded its neighbor.
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Americans in Ukraine it was “past time to leave” and warned the US government would not help citizens evacuate from the Eastern European country.
  • The United States evacuated most of its embassy staff Saturday. A “core group of diplomats” will remain in Kyiv.
  • Several European airlines have begun cancelling and rerouting planes bound for Ukraine. Russia was responsible for a missile attack that downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in July 2014. Flight MH17 was hit by a rocket above Donetsk during Russia’s invasion of the eastern Ukrainian province.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • CNN covered Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s warning that Russia could use a false flag operation to justify its long-planned invasion.
  • The New York Times reports German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is traveling to Kyiv and Moscow early this week to defuse tensions. Scholz’s government has vetoed military aid to Ukraine. Meanwhile, they are completing the lucrative NordStream 2 pipeline that would give Germany direct access to Russian gas.
  • The Washington Post assessed the ongoing Russia-Belarus military exercises amid warnings from NATO’s eastern flank that this deployment could become permanent. Belarus borders Ukraine along with NATO members Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. A Russian troop presence in the country would be seen as a threat to their security.



  • Per The Wall Street Journal, Russian naval exercises in the Black Sea have prompted the US and NATO to deploy thousands more troops to Romania and Poland to reinforce the alliance’s eastern flank. There are no plans to deploy combat troops to Ukraine to fight Russia directly.
  • An essay in National Review argued that progressives’ vision of  “the right side of history” and their belief that history moves in a certain direction has blinded the West to Russia’s aggression.
  • Noah Rothman wrote in Commentary about Joe Biden’s “delusional” Super Bowl Sunday interview with NBC’s Lester Holt. According to Rothman, Biden seems to live in an alternate reality. It’s easier to do that than acknowledge his administration’s foreign policy mistakes, most notably the bungled Afghanistan withdrawal.


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© Dominic Moore, 2022