Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Monday after a secrecy-shrouded visit to Kyiv that the U.S. wanted Russia to be “weakened to the point that it can’t do things like invade Ukraine”. He was accompanied by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
They said that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is committed to winning his country’s fight against Russia and that the U.S. will help him achieve that goal.
“We had an opportunity to demonstrate directly our strong ongoing support for the Ukrainian government,” Mr. Blinken said. “This was, in our judgment, an important moment to be there, to have face-to-face conversations in detail.”
Mr. Austin said that Russia has pulled away from the 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 Mr. Zelensky is now focused on more tanks, artillery and other munitions. “The first step in winning is believing that you can win,” Mr. 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.”
Mr. 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.”