Over the weekend, Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed that Ukraine has gained back more than half of the territory it had lost since Russia invaded in February of last year.
Blinken made his comments during a Sunday interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.
“Tell us what you can sense of what is going on in the counteroffensive that Ukraine is manage– attempting with Russia. The – so far, the reports seem to be it is very slow and very tough going,” Zakaria said.
“Well first, Fareed, put this in perspective. In terms of what Russia sought to achieve, what Putin sought to achieve, they’ve already failed,” Blinken said. “They’ve already lost. The objective was to erase Ukraine from the map, to eliminate its independence, its sovereignty, to subsume it into Russia. That failed a long time ago. Now Ukraine is in a battle to get back more of the land that Russia seized from it. It’s already taken back about 50 percent of what was initially seized. Now they’re in a very hard fight to take back– to take back more. These are still relatively early days of the counteroffensive. It is tough.”
“The Russians have put in place strong defenses, but I’m convinced that with the equipment and support they’ve received now from more than 50 countries with the training that their forces have gotten, and many of the forces who’ve gotten that training have not yet been put fully into this fight– and maybe more than anything else, with the fact that unlike the Russians, Ukrainians are fighting for their land, for their future, for their country, for their freedom. I think that is the decisive element, and that’s going to play out. But it will not play out over the next week or two. We’re still looking I think at several months,” he added.