Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to the White House on Wednesday will symbolically strengthen America’s role as democracy’s arsenal in Ukraine’s bitter war for survival and will deliver a startling public rebuke to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

That his first trip outside of Ukraine since February’s Russian invasion will be to the United States will also highlight President Joe Biden’s historic role in reviving the Western alliance that held the Soviet Union in check and now Moscow’s new expansionism rolled into one effective proxy war between nuclear superpowers.

Zelensky’s arrival will create poignant echoes of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s arrival in Washington 81 years ago on Thursday, days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. This Christmas visit cemented the alliance that would win World War II and build the post-war democratic world.

Zelenskyy compared his nation’s resistance to Russia to Britain’s lone resistance to the Nazis in the days before the US entered World War II during a video address to the British Parliament earlier this year, and his arrival in the US capital will draw the parallels earlier tighten meetings of Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt.

His visit takes place under exceptional security measures. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would not even confirm early reports that she would welcome Zelensky to the US Capitol in an unexpected coda to her speakership, saying Tuesday night, “We don’t know yet. We just don’t know.”

Above all, a White House reception for Zelenskyy will be an unmistakable sign of US and Western support for Ukraine’s fight against Putin, who says the country has no right to exist. The war exemplifies what Biden has called a global struggle between democracy and totalitarianism, which he has placed at the heart of his foreign policy.

Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona, who visited Ukraine earlier this month, said on CNN’s AC360 that Zelensky is coming to Washington with a specific mission.

“He’s trying to make a direct correlation between our support and Ukraine’s survival and support and future victory,” said Gallego, a member of the Armed Services Committee.

Read Collinson’s full analysis Here.

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