Shortly after Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev on January 19, the Voice of America gained an authoritative readout from America’s top diplomat on how Washington views the Ukraine crisis.
During an exclusive Kiev interview with Secretary Blinken shortly after his meeting with Mr. Zelensky, VOA’s East Europe director Myroslava Gongadze reported that:
—With an estimated 100,000 Russian troops currently poised on borders surrounding Ukraine, Moscow will face what Mr. Blinken called “very severe consequences if Russian troops attack that country.
—“When you think about it”, Secretary Blinken added, “President Putin — going back to 2014 — has managed to precipitate what he wants to prevent.” That’s because NATO had to reinforce itself after Russian forces from time to time moved into Ukraine and seized neighboring Crimea and Donbass eight years ago.
A warning to Russia if Moscow continues its aggression in Ukraine
“Should that happen,” Mr. Blinken told VOA, the United States and many European countries will: “1) Hit Moscow with extensive sanctions, 2) Provide more defensive military assistance to Ukraine, and 3) NATO will reinforce its defenses on its eastern flank.”
Secretary Blinken’s message was widely distributed
As The Hill magazine reports: “The Biden administration has increasingly focused on calling out Russian disinformation and propaganda, making it a central pillar of its strategy to confront Moscow and help defend Ukraine in the face of Russia’s war tactics.”
“This strategy reflects a shift for Washington as it seeks to challenge Russian efforts head-on following years of hard-earned lessons when Moscow moved to sow confusion and stir strife in Europe and the Middle East.”
The U.N. Security Council held a meeting on the Ukrainian crisis January 31. An estimated 3 million Ukrainians receive U.N. assistance because of the eight years of fighting in eastern Ukraine between Russian-backed separatists and the Ukrainian military. The latest UNSC session concluded with no public indication of progress in resolving the crisis.
As a 36-year veteran of the Voice of America (VOA), Alan Heil traveled to more than 40 countries a foreign correspondent in the Middle East, and later as director of News and Current Affairs, deputy director of programs, and deputy director of the nation’s largest publicly-funded overseas multimedia network. Today, VOA reaches more than 275 million people around the world each week via radio, television and online media. Read More