Was Biden's secret Ukraine trip a 'gut punch' to Putin?

The sharpest opinions on the debate from around the web

Biden and Zelensky in Kyiv
(Image credit: Presidency of Ukraine/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

President Biden made a surprise visit to Ukraine on Monday, promising $500 million in new aid to help the country resist Russia's invasion, which started a year ago this week. Biden promised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that the U.S. would support Ukraine "as long as it takes." The secret trip, which Biden made ahead of a publicly scheduled visit to nearby Poland, came as Ukraine braces for a long-anticipated renewed Russian offensive.

The war has been at a stalemate for months. An unexpectedly strong Ukrainian counteroffensive has reclaimed parts of the south and east that Russia has occupied since early in the war, but Russia has sent wave after wave of missile and drone strikes deep into Ukrainian controlled territory, targeting civilian infrastructure and leaving Ukrainians to endure winter freezes with sporadic electricity and heat. Hours after Biden's stop in Kyiv, Russian President Vladimir Putin used his annual state-of-the-nation address to blame the U.S. and its Western allies for the war, saying Russia was fighting to reclaim its "historic lands." With Russia digging in, will Biden's visit do anything to help Ukraine get the upper hand?

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