After making a visit to Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters Russia is “failing” in its war aims in the country.
Blinken’s comments came after he traveled to Kyiv with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. The two men spoke to reporters Monday in Poland after crossing the border from Ukraine. In Kyiv, they met with Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy and other officials for about three hours.
The trip by Blinken and Austin was the highest-level visit to Kyiv since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. The two officials announced the U.S. had promised Zelenskyy more than $300 million in additional foreign military aid and about $165 million in ammunition.
The latest aid brings the total amount of American military assistance to Ukraine to $3.7 billion since the invasion began.
About the meeting with Zelenskyy, Austin told reporters, “He has the mindset that they want to win, and we have the mindset that we want to help them win.”
Austin said the nature of the fighting in Ukraine had changed. Russia has moved from forest areas in the north to the country’s eastern industrial heartland called the Donbas. Because of this change, Ukraine’s military needs are now centered on tanks, artillery and other military equipment, he added.
“The first step in winning is believing that you can win," Austin said. "We believe that they can win if they have the right equipment, the right support, and we're going to do everything we can ... to ensure that gets to them.”
Blinken said the meeting presented the chance for him to personally demonstrate “our strong ongoing support for the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people.”
He added that U.S. policies concerning the war in Ukraine have produced “real results” so far. These include providing military assistance to Ukraine and cooperating with U.S. allies to put strong economic and political pressures on Russia.
“When it comes to Russia's war aims, Russia is failing. Ukraine is succeeding,” Blinken said. He added that Russia’s main aim has been to “totally subjugate Ukraine, to take away its sovereignty, to take away its independence.” But that effort, Blinken said, “has failed.”
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba praised Blinken and Lloyd for visiting Kyiv. Asked whether the new aid announcements went far enough, Kuleba said that “as long as Russian soldiers put a foot on Ukrainian soil, nothing is enough.”
“We appreciate everything that has been done, including by the United States,” Kuleba said. He added: “We understand that, for some, what has been done is already a revolution, but this is not enough as long as the war continues.”
On Monday, President Joe Biden announced his nomination of Bridget Brink to serve as the American ambassador to Ukraine. Brink is a Foreign Service officer who has served since 2019 as ambassador to Slovakia. She held posts in Serbia, Cyprus, Georgia and Uzbekistan as well as with the U.S. National Security Council. The position requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
The choice of Brink to serve as ambassador takes place as American diplomats prepare to return to Ukraine this week. U.S. officials have said they plan to reopen the U.S. embassy in Kyiv. For now, the Associated Press reports, it remains closed.
I’m Bryan Lynn.
The Associated Press and Reuters reported on this story. Bryan Lynn adapted the reports for VOA Learning English.
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Words in This Story
subjugate – v. to defeat people or a country and rule them in a way that permits them no freedom
sovereignty – n. the power of a country to control its own government
appreciate – v. to enjoy and recognize the full worth of something