Queen Elizabeth II died at age 96, Charles III became the new King of the United Kingdom, the U.S. State Secretary, Antony Blinken, visited Kyiv, further aid to Ukraine was announced at a meeting in Germany, and the CIA acclaimed Ukraine’s counteroffensive.
Meanwhile, a British TV host was scorned by bloody dictator Vladimir Putin extending condolences on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.
The U.S. promises the Ukrainian army another $1 billion
Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Kyiv on Thursday, September 8, and pledged lasting U.S. support for Ukraine The Washington Post writes.
Blinken met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and said that his visit was focused on the new operation in Ukraine’s war against Russia aimed at dislodging the invaders’ forces from Ukrainian territories.
The State Secretary noted that Ukraine's counteroffensive proves to be successful, but the Ukrainians were taking heavy losses and therefore needed more weapons.
In addition to the $675 million U.S. military aid package announced at the Ramstein-5 meeting of the NATO military leaders in Germany, Joe Biden’s administration will also provide $1 billion in financing for the Ukrainian military.
The U.S. will provide a similar amount to a few other European countries to strengthen their defenses.
Blinken also visited the city of Irpin and said that, based on what he saw, he concluded that the attacks of the Russians were, at best, indiscriminate.
"I was able to bear witness to horrific attacks on houses, on buildings clearly belonging to civilians, where the shelling, the missiles, the bullets, it’s all there. And at best, it’s indiscriminate. At worst, it’s intentional."
The U.S. are trying to maintain unity against Russia
Antony Blinken also talked with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and ambassadors of the Alliance on September 9 in Brussels. He briefed them on his visit to Kyiv and Ukraine's counteroffensive, Reuters writes.
These visits and meetings of U.S. officials with NATO ambassadors are aimed at reinforcing European unity in supporting Ukraine, as the energy crisis risks sapping Western support.
European Union energy ministers were also meeting in Brussels on Friday over whether to cap Russian gas prices in hopes of shielding citizens and businesses from sky-high energy bills.
"Standing up to Moscow comes with costs, but the cost of inaction, of not doing anything, of allowing this to go forward, would be far greater," Blinken emphasized.
The CIA praised Ukraine’s counteroffensive
The CIA acclaimed the counteroffensive Ukraine started to mount after six months of a very tough slog of a war, The New York Times reports.
Russia’s invasion can only be seen as a failure now, the director of the CIA, William Burns, said on September 8.
Commenting on Ukraine’s counterattacks in the south and around Kharkiv in the northeast, Burns said that Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, had badly underestimated the courage of the Ukrainians and their capacity for combat.
Burns said that Putin was surrounded by advisers who were unwilling to challenge him. Furthermore, the Russian leader mistakenly believed that European resolve will waver and American attention will wander the longer the conflict drags on.
"Putin’s bet right now is that he is going to be tougher than the Ukrainians, the Europeans, the Americans," Burns said, speaking at the Billington CyberSecurity conference in Washington. "I believe that Putin is also wrong about that bet."
He added that the invasion will inflict long-term damage to the Russian economy and to generations of Russians in future.
Death of Elizabeth II and scorn over Putin’s condolences
Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8 at age 96 in her castle in Balmore. As wrote earlier, she was the longest-serving British monarch, as her reign lasted over 70 years.
Her older son, Charles III, formerly Prince of Wales, succeeds to the throne. He will be officially proclaimed King on September 10.
Leaders all over the world offer their condolences on the passing of the monarch, the Independent writes. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy was among them, having written that with deep sadness he learned of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
"On behalf of the Ukrainian people, we extend sincere condolences to the Royal Family, the entire United Kingdom, and the Commonwealth over this irreparable loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you."
In his evening address on September 8, Zelenskyy said that the Queen’s death was a great loss for the whole of Europe and the world.
Zelenskyy extended condolences on the passing of Elizabeth II [video]
Meanwhile, a popular British TV host Piers Morgan was outraged at the telegram the bloody Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin sent to King Charles III offering his condolences on the death of Elizabeth II.
"For many decades, Elizabeth II rightfully enjoyed the love and respect of her subjects, as well as authority on the world stage. I wish you courage and perseverance in the face of this heavy, irreparable loss," the president of the terrorist country wrote.
During the tribute broadcast to Her Majesty, Morgan ordered Putin to stick his condolences:
"It’s the loss you’re causing to lives in Ukraine that I’m concerned about. So stick your condolences where the sun don’t shine."