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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday said that Russian President Vladimir Putin has already failed in his strategic objective “to erase” Ukraine and end its independence after more than four months of conflict.
Blinken appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” ahead of the annual G-7 summit in Germany, and was asked whether Russia was winning the months-long conflict following overnight attacks on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
“When it comes to Putin’s strategic objectives, he has already failed,” Blinken said. “His strategic objective was to end Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence, to erase it from the map, to subsume it in Russia. That has failed.”
Blinken added that “a sovereign, independent Ukraine will be around a lot longer than Vladimir Putin is on the scene.”
The secretary of state’s remarks come as Ukrainian officials said that Russia launched missiles on Kyiv, striking at least two residential buildings and damaging a nearby kindergarten.
Ukraine’s general prosecutor’s office said preliminary information indicated one person was killed and four injured; Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said four people were hospitalized with injuries and a 7-year-old girl was pulled alive from the rubble.
Meanwhile, Blinken described “a tactical, ferocious battle” raging in Eastern Ukraine, where Ukrainian forces are engaged in pushing back Russian forces.
“And that line has shifted, there are gains one way, gains another way,” the secretary of state said. “But what’s really important is the strategic proposition that Putin will not succeed in what he’s tried to achieve.”
Blinken said that while Putin has also tried to divide NATO, the alliance will meet at the G-7 summit where the nations will show their unity and strength.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.