US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that despite gains on the ground in Ukraine, Russia’s invasion is a failure and will continue to be so.
Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Blinken said of President Vladimir Putin: “Let’s not confuse the tactical with strategic. When it comes to Putin’s strategic objectives, he’s already failed.”
“His strategic objective was to end Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence, to erase it from the map, to subsume it in Russia,” Blinken continued to host Jake Tapper at the G-7 summit in Germany. “That has failed.”
Russia’s initial attempt at a lightning blitzkrieg to seize Kyiv and other areas of Ukraine failed, though in recent weeks, its forces have seized cities in Ukraine’s east, including Mariupol and Sievierodonetsk. The adjacent city of Lysychansk is now under intense attack.
Blinken acknowledged that reality: “There’s a tactical, ferocious battle going on in Eastern Ukraine with the Russian aggression, with Ukrainian forces pushing back. And that line has shifted. There are gains one way, gains another way. But what’s really important is the strategic proposition that Putin will not succeed in what he’s tried to achieve.”
He said that Putin has also failed in his quest to use the invasion to sow divisions in NATO.
Tapper asked Blinken about Russian strikes overnight on Kyiv.
“We have seen sporadically,” Blinken said, “ever since Putin lost the battle for Kyiv and had to shift his focus just to Eastern and Southern Ukraine, that they have occasionally launched missiles at a distance, basically to terrorize people.”
“They struck an apartment building. There are reports that they struck a kindergarten. That has no purpose, other than to try to terrorize Ukrainians,” he said.