KYIV, UKRAINE (WNCN) — President Biden visited Ukraine earlier this week as the county is approaching one year in the war against Russia. Biden spoke and the world listened to, Ukrainians rallied to and Russia responded to his words.
“A really public demonstration that the United States stands with them. It was also a pretty clear act of defiance against Vladimir Putin,” said Simon Miles, assistant professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University and author of “Engaging the Evil Empire”.
Ukrainian leaders agree.
“It was a great surprise and great admiration from Ukrainians, and we pay tribute to Mr. Biden because it was a really serious move from his side,” said former Infrastructure Minister Minister Volodymyr Omelya. “He traveled to Ukraine and proved once again that he is strong leader of democratic [sic] world.”
President Biden did not arrive in Kyiv empty handed. He pledged hundreds of million dollars in additional aid as well as desperately needed munitions.
“As much as people get really excited talking about sophisticated tanks and things like that, he also pledged more artillery rounds and barrels, replacement barrels, that are really the backbone of what is enabling the Ukrainian military right now to fend off the Russia invasion,” said Miles.
Before Biden arrived in Europe, China signaled it may be open to helping Russia. Omelya is paying attention to that rhetoric.
“China uses Russia as its private army to disobey international order, to break international democratic rules principles and values. I don’t think it’s in the interest of the United States and definitely we are also not fans of such ideas. That’s why we fight.” said Omelya.
Miles pointed out that Russian precision guided missiles are failing at a rate of 50 to 60 percent. He doesn’t see China wanting to align itself with what’s largely seen as a failing war effort and what would deplete their own military supplies.
“And were I a Chinese general, I would be asking really tough questions about the actual quality of my gear, about the actual competency of my also largely conscript army and I would not be looking for opportunities to test those hypothesis in a way that the entire world would be watching and where I get dragged down with the Russians as this war continues,” Miles said.