Ukraine: Russian artillery appears to be struck in Izyum

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Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba blasted US delays in providing military supplies to Ukraine as soon as it came under Russian attack at the end of February. 

Speaking to Politico, Mr Kuleba said that despite being glad of the US administration’s recognition of Ukraine’s military forces, help from President Biden’s administration came too little too late.

Giving an update on the ongoing war with Russia, he said: “Actually, we are winning. We won the battle for Kyiv.

“We are not as dumb as you might think, and our army proved that they’re pretty efficient.”

He added: “We finally won the trust of the United States.”

But he claimed that if the US had been trusting the Ukraine’s capacity early enough in the conflict, thousands of lost lives could have been saved.

He said: “But if we had been heard from the very beginning on all the weapons that we need to receive, if we didn’t have to spend hours and days explaining to partners in Europe and in the United States why we need specifically this weapon and not another one, we would have received all these weapons by now.

“We would have trained all the people and the situation on the ground would have been much different, would have been much better

“This is where all of us lost time and allowed Putin to gain what he shouldn’t have.”

Responding to his claims, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told Politico: “[Assistance to Ukraine was] not predicated on any indications of Ukraine’s ability or willingness to resist Russia’s invasion.

“Instead, assistance was determined based on an assessment of Ukrainian near-term requirements, including through close consultation with the Government of Ukraine.”

The United States has committed a total of $4.5 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, and surged aid “within days” after Russia’s February 24 invasion, Mr Kirby added.

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The row comes as former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev accused the United States on Wednesday of waging a “proxy war” against Russia after the House of Representatives approved a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine, and said the US economy would suffer.

Writing on the messenger app Telegram, Medvedev said that the bill approved by the House on Tuesday was a bid “to deal a serious defeat to our country and limit its economic development and political influence in the world.”

He said: “It won’t work.

“The printing press by which America is constantly increasing its already inflated government debt will break faster.”

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Mr Medvedev, who has served as deputy chairman of Russia’s security council since resigning as prime minister in January 2020, blamed “insane” prices for US fuel and groceries on what he called America’s “Russophobic authorities”.

Also writing on Telegram, Russia’s State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin accused Washington of using the aid package to “indebt” Ukraine and of appropriating the country’s grain reserves in lieu of payment.

“Washington wants a Holodomor in Ukraine,” he wrote, referring to the man-made 1930s famine that killed millions of Ukrainians.

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