Puzzle in Ukraine Crisis: Where’s the U.S. Ambassador?

Some diplomats and experts speculated that the White House had little appetite for a Senate confirmation hearing that could devolve into a debate about Nord Stream 2, a natural gas pipeline between Russia and Germany that members of both parties have criticized Mr. Biden for not opposing more vigorously. Republicans might also use a confirmation hearing to dredge up the past business activities in Ukraine of Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter, although one Senate Republican official said he was aware of no plans to do so.

Also unclear is why Ukraine might not have immediately signed off on Ms. Brink, a Foreign Service officer for more than two decades who has been posted in two other former Soviet republics, Uzbekistan and Georgia.

Mr. Zelensky’s office has consolidated much of its foreign policy activity with his chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, who speaks regularly to Mr. Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, in what has become the center of gravity of the U.S.-Ukrainian relationship. It is possible the Ukrainians prefer to keep it that way.

Ukrainian officials in recent years have also seen American ambassadors as patronizing scolds who continually issue statements and call meetings to reprimand Ukrainian elites over insider dealing and good governance failures.

And then there is the memory of the Trump years, and the dismissal of Ms. Yovanovitch. In the events leading to his impeachment, Mr. Trump, hoping to damage Mr. Biden before the 2020 election, leveraged U.S. military aid to pressure Mr. Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden’s work for a Ukrainian energy company, according to testimony during the impeachment hearings.

In April 2019, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani persuaded the president to remove Ms. Yovanovitch from the position after she opposed Mr. Giuliani’s efforts there to dig up dirt on Hunter Biden. (No evidence of wrongdoing was found on the part of Hunter Biden or his father. Mr. Trump denied doing anything improper and was acquitted in his Senate trial.)

In a reminder that the position can get tangled in Ukraine’s contentious domestic politics, some Ukrainian officials encouraged Mr. Giuliani’s opposition to Ms. Yovanovitch because her focus on anti-corruption initiatives threatened their interests. The country’s top prosecutor at the time, Yuriy Lutsenko, referred to Ms. Yovanovitch in a text message to an associate as an “idiot,” according to evidence released during the impeachment proceedings.

White House Says It Does Not Keep Visitor Logs at Biden’s Delaware Home

WASHINGTON — White House officials said on Monday that there are no visitor logs that keep track of who comes and goes from President Biden’s personal residence in Wilmington, Del., where six classified documents were discovered in recent days. A top House Republican demanded on Sunday that the White House turn over visitor logs for […]

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A Florida School Received a Threat. Did a Red Flag Law Prevent a Shooting?

The requests were granted. But the results of the search were not what the detective expected. Memories of Parkland Nationally, more than 20,000 petitions for extreme risk protection orders were filed from 1999 to 2021, according to data collected by Everytown for Gun Safety, an advocacy group. A vast majority of those petitions — more […]

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A Colossal Off-Year Election in Wisconsin

Lauren Justice for The New York Times Conservatives have controlled the court since 2008. Though the court upheld Wisconsin’s 2020 election results, last year it ruled drop boxes illegal, allowed a purge of the voter rolls to take place and installed redistricting maps drawn by Republican legislators despite the objections of Gov. Tony Evers, a […]

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