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Pallets of aid to Ukraine are stacked behind Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (right) and Secretary of State Antony Blinken as they speak with reporters after returning from their trip to Kyiv, Ukraine, and meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, on Monday in Poland.

Alex Brandon/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

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Alex Brandon/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Pallets of aid to Ukraine are stacked behind Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (right) and Secretary of State Antony Blinken as they speak with reporters after returning from their trip to Kyiv, Ukraine, and meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, on Monday in Poland.

Alex Brandon/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

In Poland, after a long train trip to Kyiv to meet Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was blunt about U.S. goals in the conflict in Ukraine.

“We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine,” he said Monday.

The United States and its allies now believe Ukraine can win the war against Russia. It’s a significant change in thinking, bolstered by the successes of the Ukrainian military in holding its own and pushing Russia’s military back from Kyiv, over the course of two months of combat.

“We believe that we can win — they can win if they have the right equipment, the right support,” Austin said.

The U.S. is rushing in long-range artillery, other weapons and ammunition as the battle shifts to the east and south of Ukraine. Washington has delivered $3.7 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion began in February, according to the State Department. The most recent deliveries include howitzer cannons, which Pentagon officials believe will be useful in the flat terrain of eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region.



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