“President Zelenskyy,” Kirby said, “he has to determine how victory is decided and when and on what terms. And [what] we’re going to continue to make sure he can succeed on the battlefield so he can succeed at the table. But even President Zelenskyy will tell you that now is not the time for such talks.
Russian troops continue to attempt to advance, slowly and at great cost, into eastern Ukraine and have also launched recent raids on Kyiv and other cities.
But as other Biden administration officials have done since Russia launched what Putin wanted to be a lightning-fast invasion in February, Kirby said Ukraine had done a much better job of repelling the Russian invaders than anyone would have thought possible.
“The Ukrainians are fighting really bravely and skillfully, Mike, and they’re not just working to defend the territory – and they’ve done a noble job of that – they’re launching the counteroffensive,” Kirby said.