Putin ups the ante. Demands U.S./NATO exit Ukraine now

Lee Heidhues 2.21.2023

It must have been a frosty meeting in Moscow when U.S. Ambassador Lynne Tracy was summoned to the Foreign Ministry for a dressing down.

Putin’s Foreign Ministry issued its demand as the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine approaches.

The same day Putin withdrew participation in the one remaining nuclear arms treaty between the Americans and the Russians.

It appears there is no end in sight on the anniversary of Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine. The killing and suffering will continue.

The Moscow Times 2.21.2023

The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the U.S. ambassador on Tuesday over what it called “Washington’s expanding involvement” in the war in Ukraine, the Interfax news agency reported.

The ministry demanded the U.S. withdraw “soldiers and equipment” from Ukraine — a reference to Western military assistance to the country.

Ukrainian soldiers remove body of a Russian soldier in the city of Kupiansk-Vuzlovyi near frontline in Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region, Nov. 1, 2022. Russian families searching for loved ones say the system for finding missing soldiers is as disorganized as President Vladimir Putin’s military effort, which has been marked by dysfunction from the beginning. (Finbarr O’Reilly/The New York Times)

The Foreign Ministry served a notice to the U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Lynne Tracy, accusing Washington of supplying weapons to the Armed Forces of Ukraine as well as sharing information on Russia’s military and civilian infrastructure with Kyiv.

“In this regard, the ambassador has been informed of the counter-productivity of the current aggressive U.S. course,” a Foreign Ministry statement said.

“It was noted in particular that in order to de-escalate the situation, Washington should take steps to ensure the withdrawal of U.S.-NATO soldiers and equipment and also stop its anti-Russian activities,” the ministry added.

The move comes just a day after U.S. President Joe Biden made a trip to Kyiv, promising $500 million in fresh arms deliveries to Ukraine ahead of the first anniversary of the Russian invasion.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed on Tuesday to press on with Russia’s military campaign in the country and said that further Western arms deliveries to Ukraine would provoke a Russian response. 

Vladimir Putin and his generals ponder their next moves in Ukraine

“The more long-range Western systems are delivered into Ukraine, the further we’ll have to push the threat from our borders,” Putin said in an address to both houses of parliament in Moscow.


A sober American Ambassador Lynne Tracy leaves the Russian Foreign Ministry 2.21.2023

Top photo credit: A troop carrier full of Ukrainian soldiers returns from the front line in Sievierodonetsk, on June 22, 2022. Johanna-Maria Fritz / Ostkreuz