After Zelenskyy visit, Russia accuses US of waging proxy war in Ukraine: NPR


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice Speaker Harris wave a Ukrainian flag as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses Congress on Wednesday night.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images


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After Zelenskyy visit, Russia accuses US of waging proxy war in Ukraine: NPR

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice Speaker Harris wave a Ukrainian flag as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses Congress on Wednesday night.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

As Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy returned from Washington, DC — after securing billions of dollars in US aid and multiple standing ovations in Congress — the Kremlin was quick to criticize the trip.

The Biden administration announced on Wednesday that it would provide an additional $1.85 billion in military assistance to Ukraine, including, for the first time, a Patriot air defense system. It is one of the most advanced and expensive defense systems the United States has provided since the start of the war.

The following day, the 301st since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the new equipment will not bring the conflict any closer to the end (“well on the contrary”) and will not prevent Russia from achieving the goal. objectives of its so-called “special military operation”.

He said there were no calls for peace or signs of a willingness “to listen to Russia’s concerns” during Zelenskyy’s visit, which he said proves that the United States are waging a proxy war with Russia “to the last Ukrainian”, reports Reuters.

This is not the first time that Russia has accused Western countries of turning the conflict into a proxy war by supplying arms to Ukraine. (Iran has admitted supplying military drones to Russia.)

The Kremlin also sold this line to the Russian public, who largely buy it, says Sergey Radchenko, professor of Russian history at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

“You could say that the majority of Russians, despite being weary of the conflict, still see this as an existential struggle between Russia and the West in which Ukraine is played for a pawn,” he said. told NPR. morning edition.

Radchenko says that despite Russia’s military setbacks, President Vladimir Putin is redoubling his efforts – albeit cautiously, as when he describes it as a “partial” mobilization – to convince his people that he “has no other choice than to support the government on this point, because if Ukraine and the West do what they want, then Russia will simply disappear.”

He sees no signs that Putin would enter into peace talks at this point.

Putin could “stop this war today if he wants to,” said Amanda Sloat, senior director for Europe at the National Security Council. morning edition.

Rejecting proxy war charges, Sloat says Zelenskyy and Ukraine have made it clear they want a ‘just peace’, and all the US has done is help the country defend itself against Russian aggression.

Moscow had warned last week that it would consider the announced delivery of Patriot missiles to Ukraine as “another provocative gesture by the United States”. Does Sloat fear this will cause a Russian escalation?

“The Patriots are a defensive weapon system that will help Ukraine defend itself as Russia sends missile after missile and drone after drone in an attempt to destroy Ukrainian infrastructure and kill Ukrainian civilians,” she said. declared. “If Russia doesn’t want its missiles shot down, it should stop sending them to Ukraine.”


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