Ukraine announces military collapse, Blinken in Kyiv with new help – 09/08/2022 at 22:25

A Russian military truck tows a cannon on the road to the Zaporizhia region on September 8, 2022. (AFP/STRINGER)

Ukraine announced on Thursday it had breached Russian defenses and recaptured a town of 27,000 in the east, while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Kyiv with a new military aid of $ 2.8 billion. .

In his daily intervention on the internet, President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed that his forces took the town of Balaklia, in the Kharkiv region (East), from the Russian army.

“Things are as they should be. The Ukrainian flag is flying over a liberated Ukrainian city, under the Ukrainian sky,” Zelensky posted, along with a video showing Ukrainian soldiers marching. in the city of 27,000. was captured by the Russian army at the beginning of March.

While the Ukrainian troops have been leading a counter-offensive since last week, especially in retaking the occupied Kherson region (south), the general staff earlier in the day claimed the next- subsequent achievements.

In the Kharkiv region, bordering Russia in the northeast, Ukrainian forces claimed to have penetrated Russian defenses 50 kilometers deep.

In southern Ukraine, kyiv forces say they penetrated “deep”, up to “several tens of kilometers”, the Russian lines and “liberated many localities”, according to Oleksiï Gromov, a senior state official. -Ukrainian major.

– “Clear and real progress” –

In the Donbass, the eastern mining basin where the heaviest fighting has taken place in recent months, Kyiv says its troops have advanced two to three kilometers near Kramatorsk and Sloviansk and retaken the village. in Ozerne.

These gains, which cannot be independently verified immediately, are the largest for Ukraine since the withdrawal of Russian troops from the vicinity of kyiv in late March.

Map of the situation in Ukraine on September 8 at 8 am GMT (AFP /)

Map of the situation in Ukraine on September 8 at 8 am GMT (AFP /)

They were announced when the head of American diplomacy, Antony Blinken, made a surprise visit to Kyiv, his second since the beginning of the Russian invasion, with the promise of a new tranche of aid.

“It is still very early, but we see clear and real progress on the ground, especially in the area around Kherson but also interesting developments in the east of Donbass”, commented the diplomat.

The progress of the Ukrainian counter-offensive is “regular”, also welcomed the American Chief of Staff, Mark Milley at the end of a meeting with allies of Ukraine organized by the American base in Ramstein (Germany) and intended to coordinate military assistance to kyiv.

Russia has not commented.

– Help to arm –

After meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kouleba, Blinken pledged US support “until the (Russian) aggression stops and Ukraine is fully sovereign”.

Mr. Zelensky described this aid as “a very important signal, which gives “a guarantee that we will get our territories, our lands”.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on August 8, 2022 during a surprise visit to Kyiv (POOL / Genya SAVILOV)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on August 8, 2022 during a surprise visit to Kyiv (POOL / Genya SAVILOV)

“What we see is the price that Russia has to pay that is already extraordinary, and that will be heavier”, abundant Mr. Blinken, comes to mention a new tranche of 2, 8 billion for Kyiv and 18 countries in the region.

Of this amount, 675 million will go directly to kyiv in the form of the delivery of armaments, ammunition and HIMARS artillery systems that have already enabled kyiv to hit Russian supply lines.

For the remaining 2.2 billion, they will be paid as loans and subsidies to Ukraine and to countries that feel threatened by Russia, for the purchase of American weapons.

This new tranche sets the total amount of US aid to Ukraine at $15.2 billion since the start of the invasion.

In kyiv, Mr. Blinken started by visiting a hospital that treats children who are victims of war, together with his Ukrainian counterpart. “I’m bringing some friends,” he told the young patients, bringing them stuffed animals.

– “Bright success” –

A few hours before Mr. Blinken’s arrival in kyiv, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin welcomed the “apparent success” of Ukrainian forces.

At the Ramstein military base in Germany, he participated in a meeting with representatives of more than 40 countries and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, dedicated to the challenges caused by arms deliveries, important for Ukraine .

US General Mark Milley noted that Ukraine uses a “significant” amount of ammunition, a factor that should be taken into account by its allies.

However, it once again refused to deliver ATACMS, tactical missiles capable of hitting a distance of 300 kilometers, requested by kyiv.

Among the new pledges made by Ukraine, Norway offers 160 Hellfire missiles and night vision equipment, Germany provides winter equipment and the Netherlands mine clearance training.

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