Top US officials travel to Kyiv as war shifts focus
Austin will visit Kyiv just before traveling to Germany next week for a planned summit of 40 NATO and allied nations to discuss ways to further arm and support Ukraine.
“I want us to have heavy, powerful weapons,” Zelenskyy said at a press conference in a Kyiv subway station on Saturday.
He also took a maximalist stance on how Ukraine intends to conduct the war, adding: “My position as President is: Anything they occupy, we take back. It won’t be a question of eight years, like from 2014, but immediately. This is about guns. When we have enough, we will immediately start retaking the occupied territory.”
“I emphasize again: last week, signals, news, steps, deadlines, numbers – I speak all this in relation to weapons from the United States – everything has improved. And for that I am grateful. We’re really looking forward to that,” added Zelenskyy.
In a message published on his Telegram account on Friday evening, Zelenskyy warned that the Russian invasion was “only the beginning” of the Kremlin’s aggression and that Russia would “invade other countries” if President Vladimir Putin was in Ukraine would be successful.
This warning is not unfounded, as Russian military leaders have indicated they intend to seize territory that would create a land bridge to Transnistriawhich would endanger non-NATO Moldova.
For now, thousands of Russian troops are locked in bitter fighting in Mariupol in the south, where Ukrainian troops and civilians are engaged in a desperate last stand at a sprawling steel factory. The Kremlin needs these troops for a renewed push to encircle Ukrainian forces to the east.
Zelenskyy advocated countries “fighting alongside Ukraine” and also warned that nations choosing to remain neutral in battle are “taking the riskiest bet because you will lose everything”.
In the past two weeks, the Biden administration has announced $1.2 billion worth of arms sales to Ukraine, taking US military aid to Ukraine since the start of the war to $3.3 billion.
Both the State Department and the Pentagon declined to comment on the trip.
Christopher Miller and Nahal Toosi contributed to this report.
https://www.politico.com/news/2022/04/23/top-u-s-officials-kyiv-war-shifts-focus-00027349?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication Top US officials travel to Kyiv as war shifts focus