Ukraine, Field River Crossing, Institute For The Study Of War discussed on POLITICO Playbook Audio Briefing


Russia has faced a dizzying series of setbacks in its war with Ukraine over the last week. Sweden and Finland are being fast tracked in a native membership, which means Russia will soon share in 810 mile border with NATO, Ukrainian troops pushed to Russians from the outskirts of kharkiv Ukraine's second largest city, and are now approaching the Russian border, Russia suffered quote catastrophic losses during the field river crossing on May 11th, according to the institute for the study of war, which notes that quote the military incompetence displayed in that crossing may have shaken the confidence of influential military bloggers. The UK Ministry of Defense said that the Russian offensive in the eastern Donbass region, the focus of Russian firepower, since its retreat from Kyiv has quote lost momentum and fallen significantly behind schedule. The Brits also claimed that Putin has lost one third of the troops, he sent in the Ukraine since the start of the February invasion. On Sunday, Jens Stoltenberg made a secretary general summed up the implications of these developments. Ukraine can win this war. And that is exactly the problem, according to a growing number of western officials and analysts who feared the fallout from what French president Emmanuel Macron called, the humiliation of Russia. Macron is not alone. Politica Europe's Matthew carnage snake reports this morning. Quote, after weeks spent fretting over what would happen if Russia crushed Ukraine, Western European leaders are now worried about what might happen if Ukraine actually wins. One big concern is that a Ukrainian win could destabilize Russia, making it even more unpredictable and putting a normalization of energy links further out of reach. That's why some Western European capitals quietly favor a quote face saving resolution to the conflict, even if it costs Ukraine some territory. The leaders of France, Germany and Italy are all stressing to ceasefire and peace deal at precisely the moment when Ukraine has reversed the tide. Carnage notes that their fears of victory put them out of step, but the Biden administration, which in recent weeks has talked about how Ukraine in the words of defense secretary Lloyd Austin quick can win. In an important column over the weekend, rust outfit from The New York Times noted that the possibility of Ukrainian advances would make nuclear escalation much more likely. We know that Russian military doctrine envisions using tactical nuclear weapons defensively to turn the tide in a losing war. We should assume that Putin and his circle regard total defeating Ukraine as a regime threatening scenario. Combine those realities with the world where the Russians are suddenly being routed, their territorial gains evaporating, and you have the most nuclear shadowed military situation since our naval blockade of Cuba in 1962. Meanwhile, the Senate is expected to approve the $40 billion package of military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine this week. In an interview with NPR on Thursday, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, who was in kief over the weekend meeting with Ukrainian president Vladimir zelensky, said he was not worried about the growing number of Republicans, especially in the house, who are opposed to further assistance for Ukraine and that he and Biden are agreed on the issue. Quote, so we're all on the same team on this, the Russians need to lose the Ukrainians need to win. Here's what's up in Washington today starting with The White House at 1145 a.m. eastern, president Joe Biden will award public safety officer medals of valor. At three 30, Biden will hold a bilateral meeting with Greek prime minister kyriakos mitsotakis. At 5 p.m., Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will hold a reception from its and his wife, morava, White House press secretary Kim Jean Pierre will hold her first press briefing at two 30 p.m.. The White House plans to talk about its new housing policy, which was just released this morning, but given the offense in Buffalo, where Biden will travel on Tuesday, Ukraine, important primaries happening in 5 states on Tuesday. And Biden's trip to Asia on Thursday, reporters may have other things on their minds. The Senate will meet at 3 p.m. to take up the motion to proceed to the Ukraine supplemental appropriations package with the cloture vote and 5 30 p.m.. They also meet at noon with votes postponed until 6 30. All right, for more news, on what's breaking in D.C. right now, subscribe to the playbook newsletter. That's a Politico dot com slash playbook. Our music is composed by the mysterious breakmaster cylinder. I'm ragu naval and have a good week. We'll see first thing tomorrow morning. Facebook connects people and they know meaningful connection can only happen on safe secure platforms. That's why they've invested $16 billion in safety over 6 years..

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