U.S. 'absolutely convinced' that Putin will fail in Ukraine
Two weeks into its war in Ukraine, Russia has achieved less and struggled more than anticipated, top U.S. officials said on Wednesday, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.
"We saw the failures of the initial military plan to quickly subjugate [Ukraine]. That’s failed," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
Washington is "convinced" that Vladimir Putin will fail in his effort to subjugate Ukraine.
"I’m absolutely convinced that Putin will fail, and Russia will suffer a strategic defeat no matter what short-term tactical gains it may make in Ukraine." Blinken added..
"You can win a battle, but that doesn’t mean you win the war. On the contrary, you can take a city but you can’t take the hearts and minds of its people and Ukrainians are demonstrating that every single day.”
For U.S. officials, Putin "has a clear plan right now" to brutalize Ukraine, "but to what end?" asks Blinken.
The Kremlin’s main objective — toppling the Kyiv government and replacing it with Kremlin-friendly leadership — remains elusive, and its overall offensive has been slowed by an array of failings, per U.S. assessment.
"If [Putin's] goal is to impose some kind of puppet regime by displacing the existing government and putting in place one to his liking, I think it’s pretty evident by the response of the Ukrainian people that they will never accept that," Blinken said.
"If Putin tries to enforce such a puppet regime by keeping Russian forces in Ukraine, "it will be a long, bloody, drawn-out mess through which Russia will continue to suffer grievously" he added.
Yet Washington also warns of the potential for Russia to use chemical weapons in Ukraine after Moscow alleged the U.S. was housing biological weapons in Ukrainian territory. The State Department said in a statement that Russian disinformation was "total nonsense".
"Now that Russia has made these false claims, and China has seemingly endorsed this propaganda, we should all be on the lookout for Russia to possibly use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine, or to create a false flag operation using them. It’s a clear pattern," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.