Ukraine news live: Russia planning ‘staged referendum’ in Ukrainian city – as Putin ‘loses interest’ in ending war with talks | World News



Blinken: Russia is failing in its war aims, while Ukraine is succeeding in its defence

 US secretary of state Antony Blinken has been speaking in the last few moments following his meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv.

He said Russia is continuing to try and “brutalise” parts of Ukraine, adding that Ukrainians are “standing strong” in the face of a devastating war.

“It’s true that Russia continues to try to brutalise parts of the country, and the death and destruction that we continue to see is horrific,” Mr Blinken said.

“But Ukrainians are standing up, they’re standing strong and they’re doing that with the support that we have co-ordinated around the world.”

Mr Blinken also claimed Russia is “failing in its war aims”, while Ukraine is succeeding. 

It is widely believed that Moscow thought the war with Russia would be over quickly, but grossly underestimated the ability of Ukrainian troops.

Mr Blinken added that a “sovereign, independent Ukraine will be around a lot longer” than Vladimir Putin will be in power in Russia.

He also provided an insight into how he and defence secretary Lloyd Austin reached Kyiv, confirming the pair travelled by train from Poland. 

Speaking from the Ukraine-Poland border, Mr Austin said it is clear the nature of the fight in Ukraine has evolved in recent weeks.

Now, he said, Ukraine is in need of “long-range fires”.


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