Three-hundred days after his country was invaded by Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky jetted to Washington, DC, for talks on what the next 300 days might bring.
Shrouded in secrecy until the last minute, the historic visit was heavy with symbolism, from Zelensky’s drab green sweatshirt to President Joe Biden’s blue-and-yellow striped tie to the Ukrainian battle flag unfurled on the House floor.
But the trip was about far more than symbols. Biden wouldn’t invite Zelensky to Washington – and endure a risky trip outside Ukraine for the first time since the war began – if he did not believe something real could be accomplished meeting face-to-face instead of over the phone.
Emerging from their talks, both men made clear they see the war entering a new phase. As Russia sends more troops to the frontlines and wages a brutal air campaign against civilian targets, fears of a stalemate are growing.
Yet as Zelensky departed Washington for a lengthy and similarly risky return trip to Ukraine, it wasn’t clear that a pathway to ending the conflict was any clearer.