The United States is ready to “remove heaven and earth” so that Ukraine wins the war against Russiasaid the Pentagon chief during a meeting with his allied counterparts in Germany on Tuesday.
(Read: Attention: Antonio Guterres calls for a ceasefire in Ukraine in Moscow)
“Ukraine clearly believes they can win, just like everyone else here”declared the US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, at the opening of this meeting at the US base in Ramstein, aimed at accelerating the supply of military equipment that Ukraine demands to repel the invasion launched by Rusisa on February 24.
(You are interested in: Russian missiles fly low over the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant)
“We will continue moving heaven and earth to be able to satisfy” the wishes of
Ukraine, added the minister, who on Sunday visited kyiv together with the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.
From now on, he indicated at the end of the conclave, this type of meeting will be held monthly, in order to assess Ukraine’s defense needs. Ukrainian forces managed to repel the Russian offensive against the capital, kyiv, but Russian troops are advancing slowly in the south and in the Donbas region (east), partially controlled by pro-Russian separatists since 2014.
The United States, the United Kingdom, France and the Czech Republic initially refused to supply offensive weapons to kyiv, but have changed their position. Even Germany plans to send tanks of the “Gepard” type, specialized in anti-aircraft defense, said a German government source. Longer term, “we want to see Russia weakened to the point where it can’t do things like invade Ukraine,” Austin said Monday.
Guterres calls for ceasefire in Moscow
Negotiations between Russia and Ukraine seem more deadlocked than ever.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres visited Moscow on Tuesday, his first trip to the Russian capital since the conflict began.
“I proposed the creation of a contact group bringing together Russia,
Ukraine and the United Nations to seek the possibilities of opening humanitarian corridors”Guterres declared at a press conference with the head of Russian diplomacy, Sergei Lavrov.
“It is urgent” to create these “really safe and effective” civilian evacuation corridors, he added.
Lavrov assured that Russia is “ready to cooperate with our UN colleagues to alleviate the suffering of the civilian population.”
Guterres also stated that the UN is “willing to fully mobilize its human and logistical resources to help save lives in Mariupol,” the southeastern port city devastated by bombing since early March.
Russian forces continue to bombard the large Azovstal metallurgical complex, where the last resistance has barricaded itselfGovernor Kirilenko said on Facebook.
According to kyiv, some 100,000 civilians are trapped in Mariupol. The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the Russian, Vladimir Putin, spoke by telephone, and the Russian president stressed that “the kyiv authorities must assume their political responsibility and, guided by humanitarian principles, urge [a los combatientes] to hand over their weapons,” according to the Kremlin.
(In other news: What is the situation in Chernobyl after the Russian withdrawal from the plant?)
The conflict has already forced nearly 13 million Ukrainians from their homes, of whom more than five million have fled the country, according to the latest UN figures.
The organization estimated on Tuesday that the number of Ukrainian refugees fleeing the country could reach 8.3 million and doubled its request for emergency humanitarian aid for Ukraine to 2.25 billion dollars.
The Kyiv mayor’s office on Tuesday began demolishing a Soviet-era monument celebrating friendship between Russia and Ukraine.
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