June 9, 2023

By Anjorin Babatunde.

A day after U.S. President Joe Biden walked the streets of Kyiv promising to stand by Ukraine for however long it takes, Russian President Vladimir Putin was scheduled to give a speech on Tuesday outlining goals for the second year of his invasion of that country.

After his unexpected visit to Kyiv, Biden traveled to Poland. On Tuesday, he will give a speech outlining how the US has helped mobilize support for Ukraine around the world and reiterating US support for NATO’s eastern flank.

On a sunny winter Monday morning punctuated by the sound of air raid sirens, Biden, wearing his signature aviator sunglasses, and President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, dressed in green military fatigues, strolled side by side to a gold-domed cathedral in Kyiv.

“Putin believed Ukraine was frail and the West was divided when he began his assault almost a year ago. He believed he might outlive us all. But he was completely wrong,“ Biden said.

“The price Ukraine has had to pay is incredibly steep. So many sacrifices have been made. We are aware that challenging days, weeks, and years are ahead.”

Russian tanks that have been burned to the ground outside the cathedral are a reminder of Moscow’s initial invasion, which started on February 24, when it attempted to take the city. Its men advanced quickly toward the ramparts of Kyiv, only to encounter unexpectedly ferocious opposition.

Since then, cities have been left to rubble, thousands of Ukrainian military and civilians have died as a result of Russia’s assault, and millions of people have fled. While the West has committed tens of billions of dollars in military aid to Kiev, Russia claims to have taken roughly a fifth of Ukraine.

The first U.S. president to visit Ukraine in 15 years, Zelenskiy declared that the trip was the most significant in the history of Ukraine-US relations.

Putin will update Russia’s political and military elite on the Ukraine conflict, the biggest confrontation with the West since the depths of the Cold War, in a speech to members of both houses of parliament on Tuesday.

He will also give his analysis of the international situation and outline his vision of Russia’s development after the West imposed sweeping sanctions on it, the Kremlin said.

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