Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivered a speech on Friday slamming Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine as a “strategic failure.”
During a visit to Helsinki, Finland, Blinken mocked Russia’s military capabilities, which have been on full display since the nation invaded Ukraine in February last year.
“Third, President Putin spent two decades trying to build Russia’s military into a modern force, with cutting-edge weaponry, streamlined command, and well-trained, well-equipped soldiers. The Kremlin often claimed it had the second-strongest military in the world, and many believed it. Today, many see Russia’s military as the second-strongest in Ukraine,” Blinken said, prompting laughter from the audience.
“Its equipment, technology, leadership, troops, strategy, tactics, and morale, a case study in failure – even as Moscow inflicts devastating, indiscriminate, and gratuitous damage on Ukraine and Ukrainians,” he added.
Blinken asserted Russia is “significantly worse off today than it was before its full-scale invasion of Ukraine – militarily, economically, geopolitically.”
“Where Putin aimed to project strength, he’s revealed weakness. Where he sought to divide, he’s united. What he tried to prevent, he’s precipitated. That outcome is no accident. It’s the direct result of the courage and solidarity of the Ukrainian people and the deliberate, decisive, swift action that we and our partners have taken to support Ukraine,” Blinken continued.
Biden’s secretary of state addressed the possibility of a ceasefire, saying on the surface it “sounds sensible,” but argued a ceasefire “simply freezes current lines in place and enables Putin to consolidate control over the territory he’s seized, and then rest, re-arm, and re-attack.”
Blinken added that a ceasefire would “legitimize Russia’s land grab” and “reward the aggressor and punish the victim.”
“If and when Russia is ready to work for true peace, the United States will respond in concert with Ukraine and other allies and partners around the world. And along with Ukraine and allies and partners, we would be prepared to have a broader discussion on European security that promotes stability and transparency and reduces the likelihood of future conflict,” Blinken said.
“In the weeks and months ahead, the United States will continue to work with Ukraine, with our allies and partners – and any and all parties dedicated to supporting a just and lasting peace based on these principles,” he added.