Biden wants Ukraine to “win” – therefore, policies must change

January 19, 2024

President Biden has now said, “We want to see Ukraine win the war.”

The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s Friends of Ukraine Network (FOUN) has been calling for the President to make “a strong, unequivocal statement in support of Ukraine” winning the war and defeating the Russian Federation for more than a year.  Others, too, have argued that “We are with Ukraine for as long as it takes” was not a strategic goal, yet that was the Administration’s consistently stated position until last month.

During the Biden-Zelenskyy press conference, President Biden said, “We want to see Ukraine win the war.”  Why hasn’t this statement made more news? The President has stated the Administration’s strategic goal, and that necessarily requires a change in policy.

To date, the United States has been deterred by its fears of escalation and has refused to provide Ukraine with the critical weapons it needs to win the war, instead providing support to keep Ukraine in the fight but unable to defeat Russia.  The President’s declaration requires a change, and Washington must use all of its resources, including the Ukraine funds that will come with the passage of the supplemental being considered by Congress, to get Ukraine all the weapons previously denied.

Below, I share the text and a link to the excerpt from the Biden-Zelenskyy press conference with you.  It is an exchange that should have been heard throughout the Executive Branch by Members of Congress who have been asking for clarification of our objective in Ukraine, and in Kyiv – the United States’ objective is Ukrainian victory.

But, before the text and link from the press conference, I share the backstory behind the important exchange.

In December, Dmytro Anopehenko of Ukrainian television asked to interview Nadia and me.

In that interview, Dmytro told us about his questions at the Biden-Zelenskyy press conference – where Zelenskyy hit the negotiation issue out of the park – it is not just territory but our people who are being tortured, raped, killed – we are not going to leave them – it is not just territory but human beings.  And where President Biden said we want Ukraine to win.

As you will hear, Dmytro saw his questions as “a cooperative effort,” and he got those questions from us, the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, and FOUN. Dmytro said he reads what we put out, watches our webinars, and knows we have been pushing the Administration to state its objective.  He said when he was called upon at the press conference, he wanted to ask our question and did.

He got the President to say the objective ші for Ukraine to win.

Obviously, I want to share this with all the FOUN members who have been pushing for support for a Ukrainian victory for so long.  And I want our supporters and followers to have the backstory.  Much of FOUN’s work is behind the scenes, but the Network is approaching its 10-year anniversary, and collectively, its individual members are tireless in their efforts to support Ukraine and our own U.S. national security interests in Ukraine.

We all must see that Washington implements the President’s stated policy – as soon as possible.

Now, the press conference, video and text:

Remarks by President Biden and President Zelenskyy of Ukraine in Joint Press Conference

Indian Treaty Room
Eisenhower Executive Office Building

(December 12, 2023)

Q    Thank you for my taking my question.   Dmytro Anopchenko, Ukrainian Television, U.S. correspondent.  Many Republican voices doubt the ability of Ukraine to win the war.  Senator Vance recently even told that Ukraine need to cede some territories to stop fighting.  (Inaudible.)  To be very honest, have you even considered such a step to cede the territories to stop fighting?

And, Mr. Biden, could you please clarify the policy and — of your administration, the strategy of your administration on Ukraine?  Is it about helping the country to defend itself or to win the war?  Because it’s obviously such a difference.

PRESIDENT ZELENSKYY:  I will begin.  Okay.

(As interpreted.)  So, first question to me.  So, your question is if we are ready to give up our territories?

Q    (Speaks Ukrainian.)  (No translation provided.)

PRESIDENT ZELENSKYY:  (As interpreted.)  The question is not only about our words or thoughts.  The question is about for what we are ready and for what we are not.  How Ukraine is able to give up its territories, that’s insane, to be honest.

We are mentioning God very often.  This is not about Christianity.  We have our people there.  We have our families there.  We have children there.  That’s part of Ukrainian society, and we are talking about human being.

They are being under tortures, they are being raped, and they are being killed.  And those voices which offers to give up our territories, they offers as well to give up our people.  That’s not a matter of territory.  That a matter of lives of families, of children, of their histories.

I don’t know whose idea it is.  But I have question to these people: if they are ready to give up their children to terrorists.  I think no.

PRESIDENT BIDEN: We want to see Ukraine win the war.  And, as I’ve said before, winning means Ukraine is a sovereign, independent nation and — that can afford to defend itself today and deter further aggression.  That’s our objective.