Biden admin. praises Ukraine for using US weapons in counteroffensive

FILE - Pentagon spokesman John Kirby speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, Wednesday, March 9, 2022. As Russia intensifies its assault on Ukraine, it is getting help from China in spreading inflammatory and unsubstantiated claims that the U.S. is financing biological weapons labs in Ukraine. Kirby called the Russian claim “a bunch of malarkey,” but in testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, March 10, 2022, CIA Director William Burns also noted grave concern that Russia might be laying the groundwork for a chemical or biological attack of its own. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

FILE – Pentagon spokesman John Kirby speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, Wednesday, March 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

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UPDATED 9:33 AM PT – Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Come you masters of war says the Biden administration amid the conflict in Ukraine. In a press conference Tuesday, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said momentum is on the side of Ukraine as it battles Russian forces thanks to American weapons producers. He added, the Ukrainian troops are getting the hang of the billions-of-dollars of military aid funneled into the country’s armories.

“And I would also add that many of the systems that we’ve been providing in just the last few weeks and couple of months have proven instrumental and effective in the Ukrainians ability to to go on the offense and to be actually quite effective on the defense in the last several days and weeks,” Kirby stated. “To include, of course, those advanced rocket systems that were that we’ve talked about so much. They’re using and they’re using them with great effect.”

Kirby went on to echo typical Biden administration derisions of Russian President Vladimir Putin while claiming since the start of the war, he’s tried to obscure it. He also claimed the Russian people are beginning to question the tactics as well as spirit of the invasion and are putting pressure on Putin. Kirby pointed out, Russia’s recent air strikes have been missing their marks while Ukraine continues is counteroffensive.

“It looks like they were largely going after the power grid,” he explained. “Mixed success, I think not all their strikes hit the targets or at least damaged the infrastructure to a maximum degree. But that was certainly what we would anticipate or what we analyzed as a response to what the Ukrainians were doing up in the north. It remains to be seen what their next steps are going to be here as the Ukrainians remain on the offensive up in the north and to continue to pursue a counteroffensive down in the south.”

Meanwhile, Biden’s Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, is warning of possible turmoil along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border as conflict brews in the region. In 2020, Russia brokered a peace deal between the two countries after a six-week war broke out over contested territory, killing more than 6,600 people.

On Tuesday, however, fighting broke out on the Armenian side of the border with leaders from both sides pointing fingers at one another regarding who started the fight. Armenia says Azerbaijan launched a barrage of artillery to start the skirmish while Azerbaijan claims it was responding to a “large-scale provocation,” also adding Armenian troops set up mines and fired upon military personnel. According to reports, 99 troops were killed in the fighting.

This prompted fears from the international community that another large scale war would break out and Russia would call back its peacekeeping personnel to add bodies to the forces fighting Ukraine.

“Well, always, always concerns because whether Russia tries in some fashion to stir the pot to create a distraction from Ukraine is something that we’re always concerned about,” said Blinken. “But if Russia can actually use its own influence, for good which is to again, calm, calm the waters, end the violence and urge people to engage in good faith on building peace, that would be a positive thing.”

However, reports from the Kremlin stress Putin is doing everything he can to de-escalate the conflict, echoing calls for peace with the international community. In the meantime, NSC spokesman Kirby and other members of Biden’s National Security apparatus vow to continue lines of communication with counterparts in Ukraine to take orders on the country’s military needs.

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Amber Coakley
Author: Amber Coakley

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