US promises more Ukraine aid, Biden announces veteran envoy

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Biden closes US airspace to Russian planes

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Monday after a secrecy-shrouded visit to Kyiv that Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky is committed to winning his country’s fight against Russia and that the United States will help him achieve that goal.

“He has the mindset that they want to win, and we have the mindset that we want to help them win,” Austin told reporters in Poland, the day after the three-hour face-to-face meeting with Zelensky.

Austin said that the nature of the fight in Ukraine had changed now that Russia has pulled away from the wooded northern regions to focus on the eastern industrial heartland of the Donbas. Because the nature of the fight has evolved, so have Ukraine’s military needs, and Zelensky is now focused on more tanks, artillery and other munitions.

“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.” Asked about what the US sees as success, Austin said that “we want to see Ukraine remain a sovereign country, a democratic country able to protect its sovereign territory. We want to see Russia weakened to the point where it can’t do things like invade Ukraine.”

The trip by Blinken and Austin was the highest-level American visit to the capital since Russia invaded in late February. — AP

 

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