The United States and its allies have rallied around Ukraine in response to Russia’s unprovoked invasion, providing $75 billion in military, economic, and humanitarian assistance. And we have led unprecedented efforts to impose costs on Putin’s aggression—including immobilizing his sovereign assets and sanctioning more than half of Russia’s economy. This week, President Biden visited Kyiv and Warsaw to reinforce our firm commitment to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.
When Russian forces launched a full-scale invasion in February 2022, they were met with stalwart Ukrainian resistance that bogged down their tanks and aircraft. Many defense analysts attributed this to a combination of factors: low morale, poor logistics, and an ill-conceived military strategy that assumed Ukraine would fall quickly and easily.
Russia’s aggression has set off a geopolitical realignment that is changing the balance of power across Europe and beyond. It has touched off a refugee crisis as people flee the conflict in Ukraine and seek to avoid conscription; triggered a new round of sanctions against Moscow’s elites, whose wealth is being frozen; and spurred NATO’s expansion, with Finland and Sweden pursuing membership after decades of official neutrality.
A year after the start of the war, it is clear that Russia’s aims are dangerously misguided. As former U.S. national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote in Foreign Affairs in early 1994, “Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be an empire; with Ukraine suborned and subordinated, it automatically becomes an empire.” This week, the United States is redoubling our efforts to keep that from happening.