Ukraine warns the U.S. of security issues as Russia summit commences

The Russian Navy hosted Pacific demonstrations just before the U.S.-Russia summit. 

By Rachel Brooks

June 16, 2021 

News roundup 

The Putin-Biden summit has transpired after tense anticipation. The summit opened the mic to direct western criticism of the Russian leader. The Hill commented on this in its review of ABC congressional correspondent Rachel Scott’s question posed to the Russian leader during his solo news briefing in Switzerland. Scott called out Putin for the Russian treatment of political opponents, naming opposition leader Alexei Navalny directly. She grilled the Russian leader over election integrity within Russian and an “end of corruption” in the Russian state. 

“So, my question is, Mr. President: what are you so afraid of?” said Scott. 

The Russian leader responded to Scott’s question with a comparison of U.S. policies and called out the United States for viewing Russia consistently as “the enemy.” The United States has had a prolonged rivalry with the Russian government since the Cold War era, the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union, and the kleptocracy ensuing in the former Soviet Union that has since drawn aggressive Russian regional policy response. Russia’s aggressive policies have drawn a security defense response from the United States. 

The Russian President responded with equal criticism of America’s ground reality. He drew direct comparisons to the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States and Navalny’s opposition. Putin drew equivalency between the riots that ensued in American cities following the killings of African American citizens by police. He stated that, while Russia “felt sympathy” for the United States, the Russian government would not tolerate such instability within its borders. 

Scott continued to challenge the policies of the Russian president, and Putin, in-kind, responded with criticism of the instability within the United States. He noted that Russia would not repeat the same mistakes. 

“What we saw was disorder, destruction, violations of the law, etc.,” said Putin, as he was quoted by The Hill in a separate report. 

Putin’s statements on Navalny and his “disregard” for Russian law in going to Germany after the poisoning incident drew heated criticism across western outlets, with coverage featured in Newsweek. 

As the Russian leader drew comparisons between the United States and Russia’s common struggle, his counterpart in American President Joe Biden “agreed” in a “constructive” meeting to return ambassadors to their post. This was reported by the Associated Press on June 16. The American president appears willing to cooperate with the Russian President, as consultations were set on updating the nuclear pact. Biden’s statements to the Russian President elicited the response that Putin believes the United States and Russia will return to “an equilibrium” in their near future relations. 

This came despite outcry from Russian allies in the former Soviet Union. Ahead of the summit between the United States and Russia, Ukrainian President Zelensky spoke with CBS News. He warned that, should the United States relax its stance against Russian aggression, war could be imminent between the two powers. Zelensky’s statements draw from Ukraine’s unique experience with Russian aggression in its fight against Russian-backed separatists of the Donbas region. 

Zelensky warned Americans that Russia has “neo-imperial” intentions recalling his youth under Soviet rule. Zelensky has urged the United States to back Ukraine’s petition to join NATO. 

Zelensky’s warning proved ominous as Russia sent a powerful signal to the United States in the hours just before the summit. Fox News noted how the Russian Defense Ministry conducted naval drills in the Pacific Ocean that involved “up to 20 surface combatants” mere hours before the summit. 

Ukraine likewise continues to persist in its defense against Russian aggression. On June 16, a massive ransomware operation was busted by Ukraine’s authorities, NBC states. The massive gang, known as Cl0P has been behind attacks on data across several United States and Republic of Korea entities. Ukraine’s law enforcement reports running several search operations in Kyiv. Ukraine suspects “core members” of the group are still at large, as they “are probably living in Russia” stated Intel 471, as the group was quoted by Krebson Security. 

The bust followed a series of condemnations from G7 world leaders against Russian President Putin for “harboring ransomware criminals” wrote The Register. 

As the United States and Russia appear to warm their ties through the recent summit, The New York Times reports that Ukraine will “reject” any agreements made during the summit.