What Does ‘As Long as It Takes’ Mean?

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What’s Next for Ukraine?

President Joe Biden meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the Ukrainian presidential palace on February 20, 2023 in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Photo by Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via Getty Images)

Every train ride is special to President Joe Biden, but he took a particularly unique one on Monday, traveling 10 hours from Poland to Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky—and send a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Emerging from Kyiv’s blue and white St. Michael’s Cathedral as an air raid alarm sounded, Biden and Zelensky presented a united front against Russia’s ongoing attack. “When Putin launched his invasion nearly one year ago, he thought Ukraine was weak and the West was divided,” Biden said. “But he’s just been plain wrong. Plain wrong.”

It may not seem like it, but this week does indeed mark one year since Russia escalated its war against Ukraine, trying to overrun the country and topple its government in weeks and instead being rebuffed by determined Ukrainian defenders backed up with Western intelligence, funding, and weapons. That aid remains robust—the Pentagon on Monday announced a new drawdown of about $460 million in security assistance—but Ukrainian and Western leaders know this level of support can’t last forever and are starting to look for an endgame.

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