What to Know in Washington: Biden Blasts Russian Missile Strikes
- Biden calls strikes on civilian targets “utter brutality”
- G7 will hold emergency call on Ukraine with Zelenskiy
President Joe Bidencondemned the “utter brutality” of Russia’s missile barrage at civilian targets in Ukraine — a significant escalation of a conflict now in its eighth month.
Biden in a statement Monday signaled he could approve new sanctions on Russia and weapons shipments to Ukraine. He said the US and its allies would “continue to impose costs” on the Kremlin and “provide the support necessary for Ukrainian forces to defend their country and their freedom.”
“These attacks only further reinforce our commitment to stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes,” the president said.
The strikes, which included the first on Kyiv in months, were Russia’s most intense since the early days of the invasion and raised pressure on the US and its allies to supply Ukraine with more advanced military equipment.
In a call Monday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Biden said the US would continue providing Ukraine the support it needs, “including advanced air defense systems,” according to the White House.
Zelenskiy said he stressed to Biden that “air defense is currently the number one priority.” The White House statement didn’t specify what systems Biden was talking about, but highlighted the pressure the US has come under from Ukraine to supply the country with longer-range anti-air and anti-missile systems that Biden has been reluctant to deliver so far.
Leaders of the Group of Seven nations will hold an emergency call Tuesday with Zelenskiy to discuss their response. Read more from Jordan Fabian.
Happening on the Hill
- The Senate convenes today at 11 a.m. to begin consideration of the annual must-pass defense authorization bill. Once an amendment package is filed, the bill will be pulled from the floor until senators return in November.
- The House is in recess.
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A Ballot That Doesn’t Mention Abortion Is Really About Abortion: Abortion could be the issue that motivates Alaskans to say yes to a constitutional convention for the first time since statehood.
Once a decade, the state is required to ask its voters, “Shall there be a Constitutional convention?” to consider changing the state’s foundational document. There hasn’t been a convention since before Alaska became a state in 1959.
But after liking their Constitution just fine for a few generations, the dynamics have changed. The end of the Roe v. Wade abortion precedent cast Alaska’s ballot question in a new light, elevating interest and attracting campaign dollars. Jennifer Kay has more.
Around the Administration
- Biden and Group of Seven Leaders, along with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will hold a virtual meeting at 8 a.m. to discuss Russia’s strikes in Ukraine.
- At 2:30 p.m. Biden gives a virtual speech at the Summit on Fire Prevention and Control.
- At 6:45 p.m. the president will participate in a virtual reception for Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.).
- At 1:15 p.m. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre gives a briefing.
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