Moscow has reacted to the Sunday visit of top US officials to Kiev where they met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin discussed specific weapons systems to soon be transferred into Ukraine, also as Zelensky and his team reportedly requested heavier weaponry and in larger quantities.
"What the Americans are doing is pouring oil on the flames," Russia's ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov told Rossiya 24 TV channel. "I see only an attempt to raise the stakes, to aggravate the situation, to see more losses."
Antonov confirmed that the Kremlin recently delivered another diplomatic note of protest to the US condemning the arms shipments and formally requesting their cessation, but said no response has been given.
Instead, the "response" came in the form of the Pentagon chief meeting face-to-face to Zelensky while saying "we have the mindset that we want to help them win." And specifying further the purpose of the hundreds of millions of dollars in approved military aid making its way to Ukraine:
"We believe that they can win if they have the right equipment," Defense Secretary Austin said, and added: "the right support, and we’re going to do everything we can … to ensure that gets to them."
Austin in statements given to the press after the Zelensky meeting went so far as to say Washington's strategy is to see a "weakened" Russia.
"We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine," the Pentagon chief said. "It has already lost a lot of military capability, and a lot of its troops quite frankly" – he added, speaking of the Russian military.
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But Antonov in his Monday statements emphasized further: "We stressed the unacceptability of this situation when the United States of America pours weapons into Ukraine, and we demanded an end to this practice." The Kremlin has also said it views any Western military aid entering the country as a "legitimate target".
There have been recent reports and admissions by US defense officials, meanwhile, that once the Western weapons enter the conflict, intelligence doesn't actually keep track of them. In short, the Pentagon has no idea where its weapons end up.
An unnamed official bluntly explained to CNN last week that the White House has "almost zero" ability to track the arms once they enter war-torn Ukraine, saying, "we have fidelity for a short time, but when it enters the fog of war, we have almost zero. It drops into a big black hole, and you have almost no sense of it at all after a short period of time."