| 5 March 2024, Tuesday |

Kyiv needs long-range fires and tanks, says US Defense Secretary

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that the nature of the fight in Ukraine had changed and that Kyiv now needs long-range fires for both artillery and missiles, as well as tanks.

Austin said that he and Blinken had discussed “security assistance” and “training” with Ukrainian officials. He said that the meeting was to talk about things that would “enable us to win the current fight and also build for tomorrow.”
“We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine,” Austin said.

Austin is scheduled to go to the Ramstein US Air Base in western Germanyon Tuesday to speak with allies on how best to support Ukraine.

The Secretary of Defense said it is difficult for the US to track what happens to weapons transferred to Ukraine as there are no US forces on the ground, but added that he spoke to Kyiv to make sure weapons were tracked as best as possible. Russia ‘failing’ in its war aims — Blinken

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a press conference following a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that Russia has been “failing” when it came to its war aims in Ukraine, while Kyiv is “succeeding.”

“Russia has sought as its principal aim to totally subjugate to totally subjugate Ukraine,” Blinken said. “That has failed.”

Blinken said that Russia’s military was underperforming and its economy was “in shambles” due to sanctions and a mass “exodus” from the country.

“A sovereign, independent Ukraine will be around a lot longer than Vladimir Putin’s on the scene,” Blinken said, adding that US support for Ukraine will continue until Kyiv sees “final success.”

Blinken said that Washington was committed to the return of American diplomats to Ukraine starting next week, and that US President Joe Biden intended to nominate a new ambassador to the country.

Asked about his impression of the situation on the ground, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said “things are beginning to get back to normal” in Kyiv, but noted that “that’s in stark contrast to what’s going on” in southern and eastern Ukraine.