Your Tuesday Briefing: Biden Travels to Kyiv

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President Biden took a nearly 10-hour train ride from Poland to Ukraine’s capital to show the U.S.’s “unwavering commitment” to support Ukraine.

As air-raid sirens sounded, Biden strolled in the sunshine and visited a monastery in downtown Kyiv with his host, President Volodymyr Zelensky. Biden promised $500 million in additional military aid but did not talk about the advanced weaponry that Ukraine was appealing for.

“One year later, Kyiv stands,” Biden said during a news conference with Zelensky just four days ahead of the one-year mark of Russia’s invasion. “And Ukraine stands. Democracy stands.”

Biden’s first trip to Ukraine since the war began was shrouded in secrecy. The U.S. alerted Russia about his plans hours before he arrived in Kyiv. Two reporters traveling with Biden agreed to keep details embargoed until the trip was over. Biden was in Kyiv for less than six hours before the Secret Service whisked him out of the city.

Today: The contest between Biden and President Vladimir Putin will intensify when the two leaders deliver speeches, several hours and hundreds of miles apart. Putin will deliver a state-of-the-nation address in Moscow. Biden will speak in Warsaw.

On the front line: While Russia has relied on prisoners and mercenaries to do some of its fighting, all ranks of society have been mobilized in Ukraine. Among them was a couple who shared a trench on the front line — and died in it.

As Russian state media reported that China’s most senior foreign policy official had arrived in Moscow, Beijing bristled against the U.S. claim that it was poised to give Russia “lethal support.” Such a step would be a major shift for China and would transform the war into a struggle between three superpowers.

China accused the Biden administration of spreading lies. “It’s the U.S., and not China, that has been incessantly supplying weapons to the battlefield,” a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said, “and the U.S. is not qualified to issue any orders to China.”

Beijing defended its ties to Moscow and insisted that it was a neutral observer trying only to coax Russia and Ukraine into peace talks. While China has supported Russia in nonmilitary ways, sending it weapons would deeply alarm the U.S. and Europe at a time when Beijing is trying to rebuild global ties after years of pandemic isolation.

President Biden has stressed to Xi Jinping, China’s leader, that any such move would have far-reaching consequences. The warnings to China revealed that the Biden administration believes Beijing is close to crossing the line.

What’s next: A Kremlin spokesman said that the Chinese official, Wang Yi, may meet with President Vladimir Putin while in Moscow.

A powerful new earthquake shook southern Turkey and northwestern Syria, two weeks after a powerful double tremor killed more than 46,000 people and left more than a million homeless. Here are updates.

The 6.3-magnitude quake struck yesterday afternoon in Hatay Province in Turkey, an area that had already suffered widespread damage from collapsed buildings.

The new quake spread panic among survivors, many of whom are staying in tents or sleeping in their cars because they remain too scared to go inside any buildings. A district mayor said that people were trapped under the debris: “People are screaming for their lives.” 

In Syria: People were hospitalized after being hurt in stampedes, the state-run news media reported. In rebel-held territory, the White Helmets, a local rescue organization, also reported stampedes and said people had jumped from balconies to escape buildings.

The Duomo, Milan’s beloved landmark, has needed constant care basically since 1386, when construction began.

The cathedral is crafted from rare, pink-hued marble that is particularly fragile. Now, climate change and pollution are adding to the challenges of preservation.

The pandemic made nursing even harder in the U.S.: Nurses are burned out and exhausted. Some have left the profession. About 43 percent are considering it, according to a recent survey by the American Nurses Foundation.

“It’s hard to talk about mental health,” said Kathleen Littleton, one of several trained nurses who spoke to The Times about their challenges. “In nursing, sometimes it’s frowned upon when people say, ‘Oh I feel so burned out.’ It’s almost like a shameful way to approach it.” She now works for an insurance company.

Today’s burnout could make for long-term shortages. There’s still high interest in the field, but fewer experienced nurses mean fewer opportunities for students to get in-hospital training. That, in turn, leads to nursing schools not producing enough graduates to fill the gap.


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