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10 Jul, 2023 21:06

US State Department trips over 'Ukraine failure'

A Foggy Bottom spokesman made a Freudian slip, not once but twice
US State Department trips over 'Ukraine failure'

The current conflict has been a “strategic failure” for Ukraine, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said at a media briefing on Monday. Miller repeated teh admission after reporters in the room sought to correct him, suggesting he meant Russia, before he finally circled back to the officially approved message.

“Answering your first question, we believe the war has been a strategic failure for Ukraine,” Miller said. When journalists covering the State Department clamored that he surely meant “for Russia,” Miller did it again.

“Excuse me, a strategic failure for Ukraine, thank you for the correction,” he went on.

Miller blamed being away from the podium for a week for the slip of the tongue, and quickly reverted to Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s official talking points about the conflict.

Washington has sought to present the conflict as a failure for Moscow because Russian troops did not take Kiev within three days in February 2022. That particular time frame and objective came not from the Kremlin, however, but from the mind of General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff – and several Western media outlets quoting unnamed US intelligence officials. 

The US has spent months talking up Ukrainian military prowess and massive NATO support to Kiev in weapons, equipment, and ammunition.

Over the weekend, however, President Joe Biden blurted out to CNN that Washington was sending banned cluster munitions to Ukraine because both the Ukrainian and US militaries were running out of conventional artillery shells. Russia has described the cluster bomb delivery as “an act of desperation.”

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian leadership has blamed its Western sponsors for the failure of its grand summer offensive. President Vladimir Zelensky told CNN that delays in supplying Kiev with all the weapons it needed enabled the Russians to fortify their positions, and that Ukraine’s troops cannot really move forward without air support.

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