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Russia-Ukraine war: U.S. says Putin ‘failing’ to reach war goals, looks for Moscow to be weakened militarily

The comments from Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin came after their secretive trip to Kyiv, the highest-level American visit since Russia invaded.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European andThen-Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Bridget Brink at a news conference in Azerbaijan on Feb. 7, 2018.

By NBC News

The United States will deliver more military aid and return a diplomatic presence to Ukraine in a show of support as the war enters a new phase at the start of its third month.

The pledges, which came as Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin made a secretive trip to Kyiv, will seek to bolster faith in Ukraine’s defenses as Russia launches its new offensive in the country’s south and east.

Speaking after they met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and others in the country’s capital, the American officials offered robust support for Kyiv’s cause. Blinken said that “Russia is failing” to achieve its war aims, while Austin said that Washington wants “to see Russia weakened” militarily so it can’t do things like invade its democratic neighbor in the future.

With the U.S. and its allies seemingly emboldened by Russia’s struggles in the war, the West saw a further boost to the cause with the re-election of French President Emmanuel Macron. Zelenskyy congratulated Macron, calling the centrist leader “a true friend of Ukraine” after he held off the challenge of the far-right Marine Le Pen, who threatened to upend NATO and urged closer ties with the Kremlin.

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State Department approves potential sale of $165 million in non-standard ammunition

Jacob Fulton and Courtney Kube

19m ago / 11:14 AM EDT

The State Department announced its approval of a possible sale of around $165 million of non-standard ammunition to Ukraine.

Certification for the sale was delivered to Congress on Sunday. The potential deal would include 120mm mortar rounds, BM-21 GRAD Rockets and VOG-25 grenades, among other forms of ammunition.

The Secretary of State and the State Department determined through review that the sale is justified given the state of emergency in the region, and would support American foreign policy goals.

Additionally, the department said the sale would not alter the region’s basic military dynamic as it currently stands.



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