U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday that sending Russian troops into Ukraine’s Kharkiv region would have “long-term detrimental implications” on Russia.
According to a research by the Institute for the Study of War (a think tank based in the United States), Ukraine’s counterattack in Kharkiv has shown signs of success in recent days. During the course of Tuesday and Wednesday, Ukrainian forces took control of up to 150 square miles of terrain in the region’s east, pushing at least 13 miles into Russian-controlled area north of Izyum toward Kupyanskisk.
Good meeting with the North Atlantic Council to discuss our ongoing efforts to support Ukraine in its valiant struggle against Moscow’s unjustifiable war. @NATO Allies will stay united in our support for Ukraine and hold Russia accountable. pic.twitter.com/Lsq0rXZ3rz
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) September 9, 2022
According to The Moscow Times, an independent online newspaper based in Amsterdam, Blinken said, “There are a huge number of Russian forces that are in Ukraine and unfortunately, tragically, horrifically President Putin has demonstrated that he will throw a lot of people into this at huge cost to Russia, at huge cost to its future.”
Blinken met with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and then addressed reporters at NATO’s Brussels headquarters.
Blinken met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Thursday during his trip to Kyiv.
Blinken tweeted after his talk with Kuleba, “We discussed consistent U.S. support to Ukraine, holding Russia accountable for crimes committed, and how we can increase costs to Russia with our allies and partners.”
This was Blinken’s third visit to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in February, and his fifth overall. To the traveling press, Blinken said that he had spoken with Zelensky and that U.S. Vice President Joe Biden had “felt it would be particularly relevant to come at this time as Ukraine is commencing its counteroffensive in the south, also in the east.”
When Blinken announced a new $2.2 billion aid package for 18 countries bordering Ukraine “possibly at risk of future Russian invasion,” Kuleba congratulated the United States. Countries like the Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Poland, and Romania fall into this category.
A vote in favor of the measure in Congress is still needed to provide roughly $1 billion in direct aid to Ukraine.
Recent Ukrainian military victories, Kuleba tweeted, “show that aid offered by the U.S. and friends does make a change.” With steady aid, Ukraine will emerge victorious and serve as a shield for Europe against Russia’s aggression.
U.S. military analysts have been told by a Russian source that Ukrainian troops are breaking through Russian defenses and moving deeper behind enemy lines.
The Russians, according to the source, “do not have big weapons and they simply cannot counteract Ukrainians,” and the Ukrainian military has avoided fighting in cities and urban areas.
In a tweet dated September 4, Center for Naval Analyses director of Russia studies Michael Kofman said that the Ukrainians were putting Russian supply lines in “an untenable position.” The Dnieper River now serves as a symbolic boundary for those seeking refuge in the area.
Zelensky added in his Wednesday night address, “this week we have wonderful news from the Kharkiv region,” and “every person feels proud of our heroes.”
On Thursday, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin welcomed Stoltenberg to Ramstein Air Base in Germany for a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group. According to the official NATO event description, the discussion focused on security concerns shared by NATO member states and their partners.