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Russia 'failing in its war aims' and Ukraine will be around 'a lot longer than Putin', US secretary of state says

After a visit in Kyiv, US Secretary Antony Blinken stated that Russia is failing to achieve its war goals following the invasion Ukraine.

After meeting with President Volodymr Zilenskyy at the border with Poland, Mr Blinken stated that a “sovereign and independent Ukraine” would be more popular than Russia’s Putin.

This comes just a week after he promised $322m (PS251m), in foreign military financing to Ukraine and confirmed that US diplomats would be returning to the country next Wednesday.

Image Situation in Ukraine at day 58 of war (Friday 22 April).

Mr. Blinken stated that Russia is failing to achieve its war goals, while Ukraine is succeeding.


Russia has set its primary goal to subjugate Ukraine and take away its sovereignty and independence. This has not worked.”

He stated that Russia sought to assert its power and economy, but that we are seeing the exact opposite: A military that is severely underperforming, an economic system that has been ravaged by sanctions, and an economy that has suffered a mass exodus of Russians.

He said that Russia had “sought the West and NATO to split” but stated that the military alliance and its allied forces are stronger than ever.

It was the first time a US senior official visited Ukraine since Russia invaded Ukraine 60-days ago. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin was also present.

Key developments:

* Ukraine proposed talks with Russia to determine the fate of civilians, troops and other personnel who remain in Mariupol

* Sunday’s humanitarian route from Mariupol was not established. Officials in Ukraine hope to reopen the process on Monday

* Boris Johnson described Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine during a phone call with Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General.

Local officials claim that a certain number of civilians were killed in the shelling by Russians in Ukraine’s Luhansk on Sunday.

* The third month of the war in Ukraine is upon us. There are many thousands of deaths, millions fleeing, and cities that have been reduced to rubble.

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Zelenskyy talks to the media at metro station

According to Mr Blinken, the US approved a $165m (PS130m), sale of ammunition to Ukraine.

He said, “Ukrainians stand up, they are strong and they are doing it with the support that they are co-ordinating literally across the globe.”

He said that “they can win if the right equipment and support” are available to them, and added that the US would do everything possible to ensure Ukraine gets it.

When asked about reports that weapons were handed to Russian-backed forces in eastern Donbas, Austin stated that it was “difficult” to track down the weapons given Ukraine by the US.

He stated that Ukrainians are “focused upon this issue, and they are aware we are concerned about.

New ambassador unveiled

Media were not permitted to accompany the secretaries. Their discussions with President Zelenskyy lasted almost three hours and exceeded the allotted time by about 90 minutes.

The details of their talks were not available until the delegation had returned to Poland from Ukraine.

With the new financing, the US has now provided total security assistance to Ukraine for the first invasion to $3.7bn (PS2.9bn).

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An additional $400m (PS312m), in foreign military financing, will be shared with 15 other countries in Central and Eastern Europe as well as the Balkans.

US President Joe Biden will soon announce the nominee for ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink (a career foreign service officer).

Mr Zelenskyy announced that he would meet the men at a news conference in Kyiv’s underground train station on Saturday night.

The White House refused to confirm or discuss details about a possible visit. However, US officials later revealed that this was a contingency they had prepared for.

Image: A missile attack in Odesa on Saturday caused damage to this building. Pic: State Emergency Service Of Ukraine in Odesa Oblast

Embassy staff will gradually return

Another development is that the Ukrainian foreign minister was informed by the US that the staff of the now-closed US Embassy in Kyiv, who had relocated to Poland, are going to start making day trips to Lviv.

The US State Department has pledged to reopen the Embassy in that country as soon as possible.

Official: “There is no substitute for face-to-face engagement. And of course, there is a symbolism in being back in the nation.”

Before Mr. Blinken arrived, the president of Ukraine had stated that he expected results from the Americans.

He said, “You can’t bring to us empty-handed today. We are not expecting presents or cakes. We are expecting specific items and weapons.”

While the West has provided military equipment to Ukraine in exchange for its support, Zelenskyy repeatedly stressed that Ukraine needs more heavy weapons. This includes long-range air defense systems and warplanes.

Austin stated that the “nature” of the fight had changed because of terrain they are now focusing on. The US also understands the importance of long-range fires, tanks, and other military equipment.

He stated that the US was doing everything possible to provide him with the support, artillery, and munitions he needs for this stage of war.


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