War in Ukraine | Antony Blinken assures that American military aid “is on the way”

War in Ukraine | Antony Blinken assures that American military aid “is on the way”
War in Ukraine | Antony Blinken assures that American military aid “is on the way”

(Kyiv) The head of American diplomacy, on a surprise visit to Ukraine on Tuesday, tried to reassure Kyiv about the arrival of American military aid, at a time when Moscow assures “advance in depth” during its offensive in the region border of Kharkiv.


Posted at 7:08 a.m.

Barbara WOJAZER

France Media Agency

The Russian army assured Tuesday that it had penetrated “deep into the Ukrainian defenses” and claimed the capture of a new village in the northeast of the country, where it launched a ground offensive on Friday, after weeks of bombing.

At the same time, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who arrived in Kyiv in the morning for a surprise visit, promised during a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that aid was “on the way”

“Some of it has already happened, more will happen” and “it will make a real difference on the battlefield,” he assured.

The United States, against a backdrop of internal disputes between Republicans and Democrats, took months to release some 61 billion in assistance promised by the White House, so much so that the Ukrainian army found itself short of weapons when Russia went on the attack again during the fall and winter of 2023-2024.

The Ukrainian president insisted on the need to receive more air defense assets, demanding two batteries of Patriot systems for the Kharkiv region, the same region targeted by a Russian ground assault since May 10 and which has suffered intense bombing in recent months, leading in particular to rationing of electricity.

Mr. Blinken, whose fourth visit to Kyiv since the start of the Russian invasion in February 2022, arrived by night train in the Ukrainian capital from Poland.

Three weeks after the release of American assistance, the United States released some $1.4 billion in military aid to draw on its stocks, mainly Patriot and NASAMS anti-aircraft systems which Ukraine sorely lacks, as well as as ammunition for artillery.

“Reassure the Ukrainians”

But the flow must accelerate considerably to make up for the lost months, especially since Russia has had the initiative on the battlefield since the fall, has reserves of men and weapons and has set up a war economy.

“This trip aims firstly to send a strong signal to reassure the Ukrainians who clearly find themselves in a very difficult situation, both due to the intensification of fighting on the Eastern Front, but also because the Russians are now expanding their cross-border attacks into Kharkiv,” a senior U.S. official aboard the train carrying the secretary of state told reporters.

Russia launched a surprise offensive on Friday against the Kharkiv region, whose eponymous capital is Ukraine’s second city and is located near the common border.

The Russian Defense Ministry assured in a statement on Tuesday that its soldiers had “liberated” the village of Bougrouvatka, near the Russian border and the Ukrainian city of Vovchansk, and had “advanced deep into the enemy defenses”.

According to the Ukrainian general staff, Russia has achieved “tactical successes” and around thirty villages are under enemy fire. Some 7,000 people were evacuated.

This operation raises fears of a Russian breakthrough in the face of a Ukrainian army lacking resources and which was already under heavy pressure on the Eastern and Southern fronts. President Zelensky assured Monday evening that “counterattacks” were taking place in the Kharkiv region and that the sector had been reinforced.

In an interview with AFP, the head of Ukrainian national security, Oleksandr Lytvynenko, indicated that “more than 30,000” Russian soldiers were attacking in this area.

“Difficult to defend”

However, he estimated that, for the moment, no “threat” weighed on the large city of Kharkiv, located around thirty kilometers from the combat zone and which had nearly a million and a half inhabitants before the Russian invasion.

Russian forces entered through “villages located on the very border and which it was difficult for us to defend,” Volodymyr Oussov, administrator of the Kharkiv military district, explained to AFP.

“They are on high ground and are bombarding us from there, and with their superior number of infantry they are launching assaults on our positions,” he continued at a checkpoint outside Kharkiv.

Furthermore, during the night from Monday to Tuesday, a Russian strike against Kharkiv left two people injured, according to local authorities.

The Ukrainian Air Force also announced that it had destroyed 18 Iranian-designed Shahed explosive drones launched by Russia in several regions during the night.

On the Russian side, the Defense Ministry announced that 25 Ukrainian RM-70 Vampire rockets were intercepted by air defense in the Belgorod region.

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