Biden Update Does Not Inspire Confidence in Ukraine's Future

AP Photo/Andriy Dubchak

President Biden gave an update Tuesday afternoon on the tense situation between Russia and Ukraine. His remarks included the announcement of a “tranche” of sanctions that will be imposed and resolute assurances of allies who are unified to cause Russia pain if it keeps misbehaving — but there were also plenty of clues that Ukraine’s future is ultimately in Putin’s hands.


“Yesterday, Vladimir Putin recognized two regions of Ukraine as independent states, and he bizarrely asserted that these regions are no longer part of Ukraine, and they’re sovereign territory,” Biden began. “To put it simply, Russia just announced that it is carving out a big chunk of Ukraine.” Yes.

Biden spoke for a good 30 seconds before he began stumbling over his words and losing his train of thought. “Today, he asserted that these regions are actually extend deeper than … the two … areas he recognized, claiming large areas under the jurisdiction of the Ukraine government,” he jumbled, doing that eyes-squeezed-shut thing he does when he forgets what he was saying.

But Biden was soon back on track. “This is the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, as [Putin] indicated and asked permission to be able to do from his duma,” he asserted. “So, I’m going to begin to impose sanctions in response, far beyond the steps we and our allies and partners implemented in 2014.” Lol, we all remember how effective a deterrent that was: Russia helped itself to Crimea while Biden’s then-boss, President Obama, huffed and puffed impotently.

“Who in the Lord’s name does Putin think gives him the right to declare new so-called countries in territory that belonged to his neighbors?” demanded Biden, revealingly using the past tense of “belong.”

The American president went on to announce the first round of sanctions that will be implemented against Russia, which he frequently reminded us have been coordinated with our allies.


First, the administration and its NATO partners will be blocking two large Russian financial institutions. It will also implement something Biden called “comprevi” sanctions on Russia’s sovereign debt to prevent the nation from accessing western financing.

And there will be sanctions on Russian elites and their family members. “They share in the corrupt gains of the Kremlin policies, and should share in the pain, as well,” remarked Joe “the Big Guy” Biden on a subject in which he is an expert.

The administration has worked with Germany to ensure the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline “will not move forward.” The United States will also continue to provide “assistance” with Ukraine’s defense and “reinsure and reinforce our NATO allies,” including moving equipment already staged in Europe to strengthen Baltic allies.

“Lemme be clear: these are totally defensive moves on our part,” insisted Biden. “We have no intention of fighting Russia.” He then said something telling: “We want to send an unmistakable message, though, that the United States, together with our allies, will defend every inch of NATO territory and abide by the commitments we made to NATO.” Biden made sure to emphasize “NATO territory,” laying it bare that ultimately there would be no action to defend non-NATO-member Ukraine in case of an invasion.

Related: Going For Broke, Putin Is Counting on the West’s Weakness to Win

“We still believe that Russia is poised to go much further in launching a massive military attack against Ukraine,” said Biden. He listed Russia’s escalated threat against Ukrainian territory, the presence of 150,000 Russian troops around Ukraine, and Russian naval deployments to the Black Sea that include amphibious assault vessels, submarines, and missile launchers. He accused Russia of performing false flag operations and provocations, including its recognition of two new sovereign republics in Ukrainian territory in “clear violation of international law.”


Biden assured the public that he is in constant contact with European leaders and allies, including Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy. “Whatever Russia does next, we’re ready to respond with unity, clarity, and conviction,” he declared. Indeed, there is little doubt that the United States will stand in unity, clarity, and conviction with its allies, as it did in 2014, while they watch Russia assimilate another chunk of Ukrainian territory.


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