President Joe Biden agreed “in principle” to a summit with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin on the condition Russia doesn’t invade Ukraine.
President Joe Biden agreed “in principle” to a summit with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. The summit would come after Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s scheduled Thursday meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. Both meetings are contingent on Russia holding off on its plans to invade Ukraine.
- French President Emmanuel Macron brokered the possible summit. Both the Biden Administration and the Kremlin treated a potential meeting with caution as heavy shelling from Russian-backed rebels continues to hammer eastern Ukraine.
- Russia accused Ukraine of sending “saboteurs” into Russian territory and claimed five saboteurs were killed. Ukraine dismissed the allegations as “fake news.”
- Ukraine and the West have warned that false-flag operations (fake attacks committed to pin blame on the other country) could be used to create a pretext for war.
- Vladimir Putin announced he would decide whether to recognize the eastern Ukrainian separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk as independent countries as soon as Monday.
- The separatist leaders made televised pleas for recognition Monday. They asked for military aid and recognition to protect from an “ongoing Ukrainian military offensive.” Ukraine denied launching any offensive.
- The New York Times reported on the breakaway Luhansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine. The two small enclaves broke away after Russia’s 2014 invasion and could now be the justification for Russia’s invasion plans.
- Politico profiled John Sullivan, the US ambassador to Russia. Then-President Donald Trump appointed Sullivan ambassador in 2020 and Biden retained him in Moscow. He previously served as Deputy Secretary of State in the Trump administration.
- The Washington Post examined Belarus, the authoritarian former Soviet state that borders Ukraine to the south and Russia to the east. Russia has effectively dominated Belarus since its dictator invited Russian troops into his country to help suppress protests in 2020. The troops never left. Now, Russia may use them to attack Ukraine from the north.
- Fox News covered Vice President Kamala Harris’s trip to the Munich Security Conference. Harris said she believed sanctions could deter Putin’s invasion even though the Biden administration claims Putin has already decided to invade Ukraine.
- The Wall Street Journal took readers to eastern Ukraine, where intense shelling from Russian-backed separatists have forced thousands to flee their homes.
- National Review lambasted the Biden administration’s decision to wait to sanction Russia until after they invade. Author Kevin Williamson argues that the invasion has already begun and the US needs to recognize that and respond immediately.
© Dominic Moore, 2022