Saturday, May 25, 2024

Blinken’s visit to Kiev shows US concerned over Ukrainian failures on frontline: Russia

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to Kiev is a sign that the Biden administration is concerned about the situation on the frontlines in Ukraine conflict, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said at a briefing.

“On May 14-15, the US Secretary of State visited Ukraine,” the diplomat noted.

“It is obvious that the state of affairs on the frontline and the military failures of the Ukrainian army are triggering more and more serious alarm in the Biden administration.”

The spokeswoman stated that the Washington Post said that Blinken arrived at a critical moment for Kiev, calling on it to hold on for as long as possible.

“He sang a song, ate some pizza and left.”

During the visit, Blinken vowed more help for Ukraine from the West and asserted that “the coming weeks and months will demand a great deal of Ukrainians”. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin was aware of the visit and the “edginess now felt not only in Kiev itself but also in European capitals”.

On Wednesday, Blinken announced $2bn in additional military aid for Ukraine as he visits the country at a crucial phase in the war, with Russia striking deeper into Ukrainian territory and claiming to have seized three more settlements.

Speaking at a joint news conference in Kyiv alongside Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Wednesday, Blinken said the support, which comes on top of $61bn in US support approved by Congress last month, would be aimed at investing in Ukraine’s industrial base.

He announced that the United States and Ukraine had already done the “heavy lifting” on a bilateral security agreement, which could be signed within weeks. He said the US was rushing ammunition, armoured vehicles, missiles and air defences to Ukraine in order to ensure their speedy delivery to the front line.

His remarks came as Ukrainian forces are being stretched across the long front line, struggling to fend off a renewed Russian offensive. On Wednesday, Russia’s Ministry of Defence said Russian forces had taken control of the settlements of Hlyboke and Lukyantsi in the northeastern Kharkiv region, and Robotyne in the southern Zaporizhzhia region, the latest in a run of incremental gains that have alarmed Kyiv.

Ukraine announced that it had pulled back some troops in the Kharkiv region, where Russian troops launched a surprise offensive earlier this month, pounding settlements along the border.

“In certain spots in Lukyantsi and Vovchansk areas, due to the fire impact and assault actions of the enemy, manoeuvres were carried out in order to save the lives of our soldiers, units were removed to advantageous positions,” a military spokesman noted on state television.

Ukrainian officials have said that more than 30,000 Russian forces have been deployed to the northeastern region. Emergency services have evacuated about 8,000 people, most of them women, elderly people, people with reduced mobility, and people with disabilities and children.

As Russia intensifies its attacks, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s press secretary announced the leader had postponed all upcoming foreign visits. The president had earlier cancelled a visit to Spain and Portugal.

› Subscribe

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

More Articles