Ukraine update: Biden calls Putin’s suspension of nuclear treaty ‘big mistake’

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


Tensions between Washington and Moscow remained high yesterday, with President Biden calling Russia’s decision to suspend its nuclear treaty with the U.S. this week “a big mistake.”

Former Russian President and Putin ally Dmitry Medvedev fired back, saying: “If the U.S. wants to defeat Russia, we have the right to defend ourselves with any weapon, including nuclear,” The Hill reported.

Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, said that “it is obvious to all reasonable forces that if the United States wants the defeat of Russia, then we are on the verge of a world conflict” in a post on the Telegram messaging app.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday that he had suspended the Obama-era New START nuclear treaty with the U.S. which limited the number of nuclear warheads either country could produce and allowed both sides to conduct on-site inspections to ensure compliance. 

“If the U.S. stops supplying weapons to the Kyiv regime, the war will end,” Medvedev continued in a clear reference to President Biden’s remark the day prior that “[i]f Russia stopped invading Ukraine, it would end the war.”


President Biden returned to the White House late Wednesday, wrapping up a four-day tour of Europe that began with a surprise visit to Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv on Monday, where he told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that the U.S. was committed to supporting Ukraine’s defense against the Russian invasion for “as long as it takes.”  

Earlier in the day, Biden addressed the group of European nations known as the Bucharest Nine (B9) in Warsaw, declaring that NATO must stand up to Russian aggression and reiterating the U.S. commitment to its allies. 

“As NATO’s eastern flank, you’re our front lines of our collective defense, and you know better than anyone what’s at stake in this conflict,” Biden said, per a Fox News report. “We will defend literally every inch of NATO. Every inch of NATO.”

The B9 countries include Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia. 


The Department of Defense (DOD) on Wednesday warned China of “consequences” should Beijing choose to provide lethal aid to Russia, as recent U.S. intelligence reports suggest.

“There will certainly be consequences for China should they deepen their relationship with Russia,” Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters at a briefing, echoing a similar warning from Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Singh declined to comment further as to what the consequences would be.

“We haven’t seen them give lethal aid to Russia at this time for the war, but they also haven’t taken that off the table,” she added.

China clapped back at Blinken’s accusations on Monday, arguing that Washington is responsible for escalating the war in Ukraine, not Beijing, according to The Hill.

“It is the U.S., not China, that has been pouring weapons into the battlefield,” China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, said at a press briefing. “The U.S. is in no position to tell China what to do.”

Wang asserted that China is firmly “on the side of peace and dialogue” and said that the U.S. should “seriously reflect on the role it has played, do something to actually help deescalate the situation and promote peace talks.”

China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, met with President Putin in Moscow yesterday. Chinese President Xi, who entered into a “no limits” partnership with Putin just weeks before the invasion, will visit Moscow in the coming months, per The Wall Street Journal.


Ukraine’s military on Thursday accused Russia of trying to deplete Ukrainian forces as fighting intensified in Eastern Ukraine, Reuters reported.

Brigadier General Oleksiy Gromov told a military briefing on the eve of Friday’s one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion that the fiercest fighting remains centered around the city of Bakhmut, and that Russia aims to seize all territory in the industrial Donbas area that still remains under Ukrainian control by summer.

“The enemy, having an advantage in the resource of human mobilization, is deliberately intensifying hostilities in an effort to deplete the units of the armed forces of Ukraine,” Gromov said.

“In the short term, it is important for the Kremlin to capture the key settlements in the Donetsk region, and in the future to capture (all of) the Donetsk and Luhansk regions before the summer.”

Gromov said that, while recently mobilized Russian troops continue to suffer heavy casualties elsewhere on the battlefield, Moscow is sending its most experienced soldiers to Bakhmut.  

“The most difficult situation remains in the direction of Bakhmut where the enemy, despite significant losses, does not abandon attempts to surround Bakhmut,” he said.

Reuters reported that officials in Kyiv and Moscow have both described the fighting there as a “meat grinder.” Moscow covets Bakhmut as a means of seizing the two larger cities of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk located between Donetsk and Luhansk — two of the four regions Russia annexed last year, though its forces have so far failed to occupy either fully.