Ukraine Will Be 'Sovereign, Independent' Long After Putin Era: Blinken

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that Ukraine will continue to be independent long after Russian President Vladimir Putin's era.

During an interview with CNN's State of the Union at the Group of 7 (G7) summit in Germany, host Jake Tapper asked the secretary of state if he thinks Russia is winning the war in Ukraine.

"When it comes to Putin's strategic objectives, he's already failed," Blinken responded. "His strategic objective was to end Ukraine's sovereignty and independence, to erase it from the map, to subsume it in Russia. That has failed, and a sovereign, independent Ukraine is going to be around a lot longer than Vladimir Putin is on the scene."

He then added: "There is a tactical, ferocious battle going on in eastern Ukraine with the Russian aggression, with Ukrainian forces pushing back, and that line has shifted. There are gains one way, gains another way, but what's really important is the strategic proposition that Putin will not succeed in what he's tried to achieve."

Blinken: Ukraine Will Be ‘Sovereign, Independent’
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that Ukraine will continue to be independent long after Russian President Vladimir Putin Putin era. Above, Blinken attends a press conference at the Federal Foreign Office on Friday in Berlin. Photo by Mika Savolainen-Pool/Getty Images

Earlier on Sunday, Russian missiles struck an apartment block and a kindergarten in Kyiv, which killed at least one person, according to the head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's office, Andriy Yermak. Five others were injured in the attack, according to Ukrainian police chief Ihor Klymenko.

"The Russians hit Kyiv again. Missiles damaged an apartment building and a kindergarten. Russia should be designated a state sponsor of terrorism ASAP," Yermak wrote on Twitter, who added that Ukraine "needs modern missile defense systems badly."

Blinken vowed that the G7 and NATO "will continue to do collectively everything we can to make sure that the Ukrainians have what they need in their hands to repel the Russian aggression."

The secretary of state also said that the missile attacks had "no purpose other than to try to terrorize Ukrainians." Meanwhile, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Sunday that the attacks demonstrate the importance of uniting to support Ukraine, the Associated Press reported.

"We can say for sure that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin did not reckon with this and it is still giving him a headache—the great international support for Ukraine but of course also the Ukrainians' courage and bravery in defending their own country," the chancellor added after hosting the first session of the G7 summit.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday warned against "Ukraine fatigue," urging the United States to continue to "step up for peace and freedom and democracy."

Tapper asked Johnson during an interview on State of the Union, how the West can "combat Ukraine fatigue at a time when so many Western nations are struggling with real issues at home? And do you worry at all that the tying of the war in Ukraine with higher energy prices might cause people in the UK [and] in the United States to say, 'you know what, it's not worth it?'"

"But it is," the prime minister responded, adding that the consequences for the world would be "absolutely catastrophic" if Putin succeeded in his invasion of Ukraine, taking "sizable parts of a free, independent, sovereign country, which is what he is poised to do."

Johnson visited Kyiv earlier this month and recently said that he would argue for continued military support for Ukraine at the G7 summit.

"In as much as the Ukrainians are in a position to start a counter-offensive, it should be supported. With equipment that they demand from us," Johnson said, according to Reuters.