William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

UKRAINE ON THE BRINK – OVERNIGHT:  Biden believes an invasion is near.  From Fox:   NATO allies, including White House officials, are concerned by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s decision to depart Kyiv for the Munich Security Conference this weekend, sources told Fox News Friday.  Allies of the 30-member alliance are reportedly worried that Russia could exploit the president’s absence as tension in Eastern Europe has reached a boiling point not seen in decades.  Zelensky, who is set to meet with Vice President Kamala Harris on Saturday, is expected to be a key target if Russia does successfully invade Kyiv, sources confirmed.  President Biden said Friday he is "convinced" that Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to invade Ukraine.  In answer to questions from reporters as to whether he believed it would be a mistake for Zelensky to leave Ukraine at this time Biden said, "It may not be…the wise choice, but it's his decision." "That's a judgment for him to make," Biden said. "It's in the pursuit of a diplomatic solution."  A senior U.S. defense official told Fox News Digital there is a strong possibility of a "significant invasion" by the Russian military in the coming days and Kyiv is its sites. The official said Russian military forces have left their barracks and that roughly 40-50% of Putin's troops have moved into attack positions — putting them within striking distance of the Ukrainian border.  The president speaks with such certainty about an invasion.  I wish I could have greater confidence in his judgment, but it has been wrong so often during his long career.  If Moscow does invade, we will face a major foreign-policy crisis.  Ukraine does not have the military strength to defend itself.  It will almost certainly lose without troops from other countries, and the president has already said that no American troops will be involved.  If Ukraine is absorbed by the Russian state, our humiliation, and image of weakness, will be great.

February 18, 2022