Russia Signals New Focus as Biden Lands In Poland Near Ukrainian Border

March 25, 2022Coffee or Die

President Joe Biden boards Air Force One for his trip to Europe at Joint Base Andrews, Md., March 23, 2022. US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston.

This article was originally published by RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service

U.S. President Joe Biden has visited U.S. troops near the Polish border with Ukraine amid signals from Moscow that the Kremlin has scaled back its goals in its unprovoked attack on its neighbor to concentrate on capturing territory claimed by Russia-backed separatists.

Biden shook hands with dozens of soldiers during the surprise visit on March 25 to the city of Rzeszow, less than 100 miles from a military base in the western Ukrainian city of Yavoriv, which was ravaged by Russian air strikes on March 13.

Poland is hosting thousands of U.S. troops stationed there as part of a NATO battlegroup and has taken in more than 2 million Ukrainian refugees since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division unload humanitarian supplies from the US Agency for International Development earmarked for Ukrainian war refugees at the G2A Arena in Jasionka, Poland, Feb. 25, 2022. US Army photo by Sgt. Rob Whitlow.

Biden arrived in Poland from Brussels, where he and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a deal under which the bloc will receive at least 15 billion cubic meters of American liquefied natural gas (LNG) this year amid efforts to wean itself off Russian gas imports.

The U.S. president, who announced a $1 billion aid package for Ukraine the previous day amid an unprecedented series of summits of NATO, EU, and the Group of Seven (G7), was scheduled to also hold talks with Polish leaders on energy and refugee issues.

Before his arrival, Biden said he hoped his visit would “reinforce my commitment to have the United States make sure we are a major piece of dealing with the relocation of all those folks, as well as humanitarian assistance needed both inside Ukraine and outside Ukraine.”

A Petroleum Supply Specialist assigned with 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division refuels an M1075 Palletized Load System vehicle in Zamość, Poland, Feb. 22, 2022. US Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Claudia Nix.

The fighting has pushed almost 4 million civilians out of Ukraine, while tens of thousands of others are still stranded in cities without utilities and dwindling foods supplies.

After a month of fighting, Russia has yet to take a major city in Ukraine, and with Ukrainian forces recapturing some territory in pitched battles just outside of Kyiv, Moscow appeared to be recalibrating its plans.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said on March 25 that the first phase of its operation — which has been met with surprisingly stiff resistance, stalling advances in many parts of the country — was mostly complete, and that it would now focus on “liberating” two eastern regions claimed by Russia-backed separatists.

It added that military operations would continue until Russian forces had completed the tasks that had been set, without elaborating.

Days before launching the attack, Russia recognized the separatist-controlled districts of Luhansk and Donetsk regions of Ukraine, which Moscow and the separatists call the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic.

One of the focuses of Moscow’s invasion has been the southern port city of Mariupol, which lies between Russian-occupied Crimea and the eastern areas held by the separatists.

This map shows the state of Russian advances around Mariupol as of March 24. Source: Institute for the Study of War.

The heavy fighting has trapped tens of thousands of civilians in the besieged city with dwindling supplies.

Civilian targets around Mariupol have been destroyed by Russian air strikes, including a theater where hundreds were sheltering.

Mariupol officials on March 25 gave their first estimate — based on eyewitness accounts — of the death toll from the strikes on the city’s Drama Theater, saying some 300 civilians are thought to have been killed.

Since the March 16 attack on the Mariupol Drama Theater, Ukrainian authorities had held back on giving any death toll, saying they were still trying to establish verified numbers but were being hampered by continued Russian shelling in nearby neighborhoods.

Mariupol’s city council wrote on Telegram that although “no one wants to believe what happened, the words of those who were inside the building at the time of the terrorist act say otherwise.”

This map shows the state of the advance of Russian forces in Ukraine as of March 24. Map: RFE/RL, source: Institute for the Study of War.

Britain’s Defense Ministry confirmed on March 25 that Ukraine has reoccupied towns and defensive positions up to 35 kilometers east of Kyiv, helped by Russian forces falling back on overextended supply lines.

The ministry added that Ukrainian forces were “likely to continue to attempt to push Russian forces back” towards Hostomel Airfield northwest of Kyiv.

The ministry said that “logistic issues and Ukrainian resistance” were also slowing down Russian attempts to circumvent the southern city of Mykolayiv as they attempted to push toward the key port city of Odesa.

Read Next: Snake Island Defenders Who Told Russian Warship ‘Go F*ck Yourself’ Freed, Ukraine Says

Copyright (c)2020 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

Coffee or Die
Coffee or Die

Coffee or Die is Black Rifle Coffee Company’s online lifestyle magazine. Launched in June 2018, the magazine covers a variety of topics that generally focus on the people, places, or things that are interesting, entertaining, or informative to America’s coffee drinkers — often going to dangerous or austere locations to report those stories.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
‘On Tour In Hell’: Wounded Ukrainian Soldiers Evacuated

With bandaged heads and splinted limbs, the wounded soldiers are stretchered into the waiting medica...

March 27, 2023Associated Press
F-15 Strike Eagles
US Launches Airstrikes in Syria After Drone Kills US Worker

While it’s not the first time the U.S. and Iran have traded airstrikes in Syria, the attack and the ...

March 24, 2023Associated Press
The Gift jason dunham
‘The Gift’ Explores the Life and Legacy of Medal of Honor Recipient Jason Dunham

"The Gift" tells the story of the first Marine to receive the Medal of Honor after the Vietnam War. ...

March 24, 2023Mac Caltrider
uss milius
US Denies Chinese Claim It Drove Away American Destroyer

The U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet said that a statement from China's Southern Theatre Command that it had fo...

March 23, 2023Associated Press
The Speed Project: Vet Team To Run in Lawless, Invite-Only Ultramarathon

For the first time, a team of (mostly) US veterans and active-duty service members will run in The S...

March 23, 2023Jenna Biter
uranium-based ammo ammunition Ukraine UK depleted uranium
A Look At the Uranium-Based Ammo the UK Will Send to Ukraine

The British defense ministry on Monday confirmed it would provide Ukraine with armor-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium.

March 23, 2023Associated Press
Zaporizhzhia Ukraine Russia
Ukraine: Russia Hits Apartments and Dorm, Killing Civilians

“Russia is shelling the city with bestial savagery,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote in a Telegr...

March 22, 2023Associated Press
cold brew coffee soda float
The Bitter Barista's Cold Brew Coffee Soda Float

Today, we combine the best of both worlds with this indulgent recipe, smashing together our love of coffee and ice cream with a cold brew coffee soda float!

March 21, 2023Heather Lynn
  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved