The New York TimesThe New York Times

In Biden's unannounced visit to Kyiv, a preview of an increasingly direct contest with Putin

By David E. Sanger and Anton Troianovski

20 Feb 2023 · 7 min read

Editor's Note

The war in Ukraine is increasingly "a contest between two aging Cold Warriors," as Biden and Putin are engaged in everything but direct battle with one another, writes The NYT in this analysis.

WARSAW, Poland — President Joe Biden’s sudden appearance in Kyiv’s presidential palace Monday morning was intended first as a morale booster for shellshocked Ukrainians in the midst of a bleak winter of power outages and a bitter war of attrition.

But it was also the first of several direct challenges on this trip to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who a year ago this week believed the Ukrainian capital would become Russian-controlled territory again in a matter of days, moving Putin closer to his ambition of restoring the empire of Peter the Great.

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