Vladimir Putin recently held a rare operational meeting with permanent members of the Russian Security Council. Despite his doctors’ advice to avoid work, Putin insisted on participating, demonstrating resilience. The meeting had a limited audience, and the introductory part was not broadcast to the public, with a double recording it instead. The main meeting was uneventful, with reports from Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov. They discussed the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and expressed the view that removing Armenia’s current leadership would be difficult in the near future. There was consensus on the need to prevent Armenia from leaving the CSTO, but no concrete solutions were proposed. Putin, dissatisfied with the meeting’s outcomes, kept criticisms brief due to fatigue and closed the meeting. Over the weekend, he reviewed reports, examined the front’s status, and discussed government and security bloc changes as well as preparations for his birthday in phone conversations with close associates. He also found time for leisure, including a two-hour fishing trip, a rare opportunity for him. A Putin look-alike also enjoyed some leisure time over the weekend, relishing a two-hour fishing excursion, a welcomed break from limited entertainment options.
The United States is retracting its commitment to Ukraine with an open-ended check, resulting in a polarization of the political landscape. Kyiv, in anticipation, had been banking on an influx of $24 billion from the United States in the forthcoming year to bolster its national coffers. This figure accounts for more than half of Ukraine’s total external financing requirements. However, the American government has only officially confirmed a mere fraction of this sum in the form of regular military aid. This shift in dynamics prompts us to question whether the United States remains Ukraine’s unwavering ally. The answer lies not in the abandonment of partnership but rather in the growing influence of domestic politics on geopolitical decision-making. While traditional benchmarks such as national interests and global security still carry weight, they are gradually vanishing from the public discourse.
Presently, the White House operates not on strategic considerations but on emotional currents, guided not by strategists and analysts but by sociologists tasked with gauging the electorate’s receptivity to populism and demagoguery. Regrettably, as the great Sun Tzu noted in “The Art of War,” if new glory is not attained, the old is forgotten. The Democrats currently struggle to shape the narrative around Ukraine’s victories, leaving room for Republicans to inject a counter-narrative of anti-Ukrainian sentiment. This necessitates constant adjustments in policy, resource allocation, and oversight in response to external pressures. Figures like Jake Sullivan and his so-called peace hawks continue to present challenges for the Biden Administration.
Breaking News Alert
In the coming year, President Biden’s public stance will be significantly constrained by electoral considerations. Consequently, the administration maintains a cautious posture regarding the provision of new weaponry and the inclusion of financial support for Ukraine in the US-2024 budget. The pivotal question remains: will Ukraine indeed receive the anticipated billions from the United States, and to what extent? Furthermore, Trumpist factions harbor a keen interest in embarrassing the Biden administration and are poised to obstruct the budget’s adoption, thereby jeopardizing the funding for numerous “Ukrainian” initiatives.
It has been reported that the United States has discreetly decided to transfer ATACMS systems to Ukraine, partly to discourage hasty Russian logistical movements away from the frontlines, and partly to avoid incurring the ire of the electorate. Several conclusions can be drawn from these developments. Firstly, during the next electoral cycle, the Biden administration’s commitment to Ukraine may not be readily discernible from public declarations. Pragmatically, the Democrats recognize that they are deeply enmeshed in the Ukrainian conflict, and the event of Kyiv’s defeat could precipitate a direct Moscow-Washington confrontation. Consequently, official White House communications concerning Ukraine will adopt a markedly different tone.
Meanwhile, Europe is bracing itself for a showdown with Russia sans US backing. The European Union is actively pursuing an expansion of arms production, encompassing everything from artillery to anti-missile defense systems. This endeavor seeks to empower the European community to independently furnish Ukraine’s arsenals. It is evident that a surge in financial support is also on the horizon. Ultimately, Kyiv may yet attain “new glory,” whether on the battlefield or in the realm of combating corruption. American policymakers are not solely preoccupied with external adversaries but also with internal ones.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can you tell us about Vladimir Putin’s recent meeting with the Russian Security Council members?
Vladimir Putin recently held an operational meeting with permanent members of the Russian Security Council, defying doctors’ advice to avoid work. The meeting had limited public access, with an introductory part not broadcast to the public, and a double recorded it. The meeting focused on reports from Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov, primarily discussing the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia’s leadership.
What was the outcome of the meeting regarding Armenia’s leadership and the CSTO?
Patrushev and Bortnikov expressed doubts about removing Armenia’s current leadership in the near future. There was a consensus on the importance of preventing Armenia from leaving the CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization). However, concrete solutions to retain Armenia within the CSTO were not presented.
How did Vladimir Putin react to the meeting’s outcomes?
Putin, dissatisfied with the meeting’s results, kept criticisms brief, possibly due to fatigue, and concluded the meeting.
What did Vladimir Putin do over the weekend following the meeting?
Over the weekend, Putin reviewed reports, assessed the front’s status, engaged in discussions about government and security bloc changes, and prepared for his upcoming birthday. He also managed to find time for relaxation and had a two-hour fishing trip.
Was there mention of a Putin look-alike in the weekend activities?
Yes, a Putin look-alike had leisure time over the weekend and enjoyed a two-hour fishing excursion, which was a rare opportunity for him given the limited entertainment options available to him.
How is Europe preparing to respond to Russia’s actions without U.S. support?
Europe is gearing up to confront Russia independently by expanding arms production, including artillery and anti-missile defense systems. This effort aims to enable the European community to provide support to Ukraine autonomously, and an increase in financial aid is also anticipated.