U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday said that he is absoultely convinced that Russian President Vladimir Putin 'will fail' in Ukraine and that Russia will 'suffer a strategic defeat.
Blinken also said that Russia's proposals to create humanitarian corridors from Ukraine to Russia are "absurd" as he called for Russia to allow civilians in Ukraine to leave safely.
"It's offensive to suggest the Ukrainian people should seek refuge from the very government that has demonstrated such disregard for their lives," Blinken told reporters following his meeting with UK foreign minister Liz Truss in Washington.
Regarding the sanctions against Russia, he commented that companies leaving Russia will have a profound impact both in the short-term and the long-term.
Blinken stated that Poland's proposal for sending fighter jets to Ukraine has 'complexities', adding that they are continuing to consult closely with Poland and other NATO allies on the potential for sending jets to Ukraine.
He added that the U.S. has sought to provide potential off-ramps to Putin and that he is the only one who can change course in Ukraine and take off-ramps.
"We've sought to provide possible off-ramps to President Putin. He's the only one who can decide whether or not to take them. So far, every time there's been an opportunity to do just that, he's pressed the accelerator and continued down this horrific road that he's been pursuing," Blinken said at a joint news conference with his British counterpart Liz Truss.
"He has a clear plan right now to brutalize Ukraine but to what end?" Blinken said, adding that Ukrainians have shown that they would not accept any "puppet regime" that Putin might try to install to replace the elected Ukrainian government.
"If he tries to enforce such a puppet regime by keeping Russian forces in Ukraine, it will be a long, bloody, drawn-out mess," Blinken said.
Senior U.S. defense officials last month assessed that Russia's invasion of Ukraine is designed to 'decapitate' Ukraine's government.
More than 2 million people have fled Ukraine since Putin launched the land, sea and air invasion on Feb 24. Moscow calls its action a "special military operation" to disarm its neighbor and dislodge leaders it calls "neo-Nazis."
The war has swiftly cast Russia into economic isolation as well as drawing almost universal international condemnation. The United States on Tuesday banned imports of Russian oil, while Western companies are rapidly pulling out of the Russian market.
Russian forces hold territory stretching along Ukraine's northeast border, the east and the southeast. Fighting has taken place in the outskirts of the capital Kyiv, while Ukraine's second city Kharkiv is under bombardment.