Russia-Ukraine war live updates: U.S. says Russia ‘failing’ in war aims; Biden taps Bridget Brink as Ukraine envoy

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin held a joint news conference in Poland on April 25 after their Kyiv visit. (Video: The Washington Post)

Today at 1: 00 a.m. EDT|Updated today at 10: 58 a.m. EDT

Today at 1: 00 a.m. EDT|Updated today at 10: 58 a.m. EDT

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IN POLAND, NEAR THE BORDER WITH UKRAINE — On the heels of a visit to Kyiv, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters that Russia is clearly “failing” in its war aims and that “Ukraine is succeeding,” while Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the United States wants to see “Russia weakened to the point where it can’t do things like invade Ukraine.”

President Biden announced that he is nominating Bridget Brink, a career diplomat who currently serves as ambassador to Slovakia, to become ambassador to Ukraine. Blinken, speaking after the first visit by high-level U.S. officials to the Ukrainian capital since Russia’s invasion, also confirmed that the United States would reopen its embassy in Ukraine, with diplomats first operating in the western city of Lviv.

Austin said the United States wants to see Ukraine remain a democratic country, able to defend its sovereign territory. The United States would also provide $713 million in foreign military financing to Ukraine and more than a dozen other nations to purchase new weapons, replenishing arms that were provided to Ukrainian forces, he said. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the United States for its “unprecedented” assistance, but a top Ukrainian official has said the country is hoping for far more, asking the Biden administration to provide at least $2 billion per month in emergency economic aid.

  • Although local officials say that life in the Ukrainian capital is slowly becoming more normal, with businesses open and residents returning, the threat of aircraft and missile strikes persists, and Kyiv has been placed under a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time.
  • Ukrainian officials said no agreement has been reached with Moscow on a humanitarian corridor to evacuate civilians from Azovstal Iron and Steel Works and that the industrial plant remains under attack — despite Russia’s claims that its forces would unilaterally cease fire to allow civilians to escape from the refuge of Mariupol’s last defenders.
  • Zelensky congratulated French President Emmanuel Macron on his reelection in a race against far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, who has a history of warm relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his congratulations to Macron for winning a second term.
  • The Washington Post has lifted its paywall for readers in Russia and Ukraine. Telegram users can subscribe to our channel for updates.

8: 17 a.m.

Headshot of Bryan Pietsch

Bryan Pietsch:

Here are some takeaways from the British Defense Ministry’s Monday intelligence update and the end-of-day Sunday assessment by the Institute for the Study of War, a D.C.-based think tank: – Russia has made minor gains in some areas in Donbas, the eastern region it’s seeking to control. – But Russia is not devoting large units to carry out “decisive” attacks or allowing troops to pause and regroup, lessening the efficiency and efficacy of its assaults. – Russia’s choice to surround, rather than attack, the steel plant in Mariupol where Ukrainian fighters and civilians are holed up, is depleting troops’ energy. – The ISW said Russia may be preparing for attacks on the plant, a move that it says could bring high Russian casualties. – Meanwhile, British officials say Russia’s Defense Ministry wants to use military rather than civilian channels for bereavement payments for the families of Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine. According to Britain, this is likely an attempt to hide the true scale of Russia’s losses in Ukraine.

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