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As a nation enters a third winter of fighting for its very existence, it must wait – one ocean away – on a domestic partisan feud. Republicans in the US Senate have shrugged off Joe Biden’s plea not to gift a win to Vladimir Putin and have blocked aid for Ukraine over a dispute on funding for the border with Mexico. It’s classic Beltway horse trading. But what are the life-or-death consequences? What about Washington’s street cred as guarantor of the NATO alliance?

Speaking of horse trading, guess who’s coming to dinner in Paris? Hungary’s prime minister, who was recently welcomed in Moscow with open arms. Viktor Orban wants the unfreezing of EU funding blocked over rule of law issues or he says he’ll scupper the bloc’s own Ukraine funding at next week’s final Brussels summit of the year. 

How fragile is Western policymaking? What options for Kyiv as it faces a bloody winter stalemate on the battlefield?

Produced by Charles Wente, Guillaume Gougeon and Imen Mellaz.

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