The United States is set to provide significant military assistance to Ukraine. The military help has come at a time when Russia is about to capture the eastern part of Ukraine and other cities. The Ukrainian president, Zelensky, welcomed the US decision on timely military aid.
US Secretary of Defence and a leading diplomat have said that US diplomats will return to Ukraine. The US also announced fresh military aid to the country and that Washington would nominate a new ambassador to Ukraine.
The US’s Defence Secretary, Lloyd Austin, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, announced military aid worth $700 million.
A US official said, “This assistance will also help Ukraine’s armed forces transition to more advanced weapons and air defence systems, essentially Nato-capable systems.”
Washington also said that US diplomats will gradually start making day trips to Lviv in the coming week. Separately, the UK’s defence ministry said that Russia is planning a staged referendum in the city of Kherson to justify the invasion.
Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, said that Ukraine will try to establish humanitarian routes from Mariupol, which is currently surrounded by Russian forces.
Kyiv needs long-range missiles
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that the nature of the fight in Ukraine had changed and that Kyiv now needed long-range fires for artillery and missiles, as well as tanks.
Austin said that he and Blinken had discussed “security assistance” and “training” with Ukrainian officials. He said that the meeting was to talk about things that would “enable us to win the current fight and also build for tomorrow.”
“We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine,” Austin said.
Blinken: Russia’s ‘failing‘ in its war aims
At a press conference following a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a press conference that Russia has been “failing” when it comes to its war aims in Ukraine, while Kyiv is “succeeding.”
“Russia has sought as its principal aim to totally subjugate and totally conquer Ukraine,” Blinken said. “That has failed.”
Blinken said that Russia’s military was underperforming and its economy was “in shambles” due to sanctions and a mass “exodus” from the country.