Watch the video on the link below and read the “KEY FACTS” below then answer the questions 1 to 6. Each answer should consist of 25 words per answer.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave remarks at an informal meeting of NATO members in Berlin on May 15.
- In the United States, the secretary of state is the president’s chief foreign affairs adviser.
- Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
- Kyiv is the capital of Ukraine.
- The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a military alliance between 30 member states: 28 European states, the United States, and Canada. Its purpose is to protect its members from aggression.
- Finland and Sweden are the latest countries to apply to NATO.
VACABULARY: SECRETARY OF STATE, FOREIGN AFFAIRS ADVISOR, INVADED, ALLIANCE, AGGRESSION, TO APPLY
1). What has the world seen these past three months, according to Antony Blinken?
2). According to the secretary, what did Putin think he could do?
3). What happened to the Russian army in Kyiv?
4). What does every member of NATO want?
5). What will NATO continue to do?
6). What is the United States focused on?
VACABULARY: ACCORDING TO, ARMY
Sweden’s ruling party greenlights joining NATO; bloc chief calls potential adds “historic”
Sweden’s governing party is dropping its opposition to joining NATO—a significant step that paves the way for the nation to join Finland in applying for membership and ending the long-standing military nonalignment of both Nordic countries.
VACABULARY: DROPPING, JOINING, PAVE THE WAY, APPLYING, MEMBERSHIP, LONG-STANDING, NONALIGNMENT, NORDIC
Ahead of the move, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg declared that the accession of Sweden and Finland would be a “historic moment”—additions that would enhance security and show that “aggression does not pay.”
Earlier on Sunday, Finland’s prime minister and president announced that the nation is seeking NATO membership, with a formal application expected as soon as Tuesday. President Sauli Niinistö said in an interview Sunday on CNN that a call with Vladimir Putin was “calm and cool” and that the Russian president made no specific threats even though he called Finland’s decision a “mistake.”
VACABULARY: AHEAD, TO DECLARE, ACCESSION, ENHANCE, SEEKING, CALM AND COOL, THREATS
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he was “very confident” that NATO would reach consensus on admitting Sweden and Finland to the military alliance. The top US diplomat said that during a meeting in Berlin of NATO foreign ministers, he “heard almost across the board very strong support” for the countries’ plan to join. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had earlier criticized Sweden and Finland as “home to many terrorist organizations,” a reference primarily to Kurdish separatists.
Four Russian missiles hit military infrastructure in the Lviv region early Sunday, the regional governor said, destroying military equipment but without causing fatalities or injuries. The claims could not be independently verified by The Washington Post.
VACABULARY: REACH CONSENSUS, MILITARY ALLIANCE, DIPLOMAT, ACROSS THE BOARD, KURDISH SEPARATISTS
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with a US Senate delegation led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican-Kentucky, on Saturday in Kyiv, calling the visit “a powerful signal of bipartisan support for Ukraine from the US Congress and the American people,” his office said. A $40 billion aid package for Ukraine will be up for full Senate debate in the coming week.
Olga Stefanishyna, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, said Sunday that Ukrainian officials are seeing “a cautious amount of great news,” including the movement of Russian troops away from parts of western Ukraine.
VACABULARY: LED BY, BIPARTISAN SUPPORT, AID, SENATE DEBATE, CAUTION, TROOPS
“We see that Putin has readjusted his strategy,” Stefanishyna said on ABC’s This Week program. “So we’re getting back a significant amount of our territory around Ukraine. But [our] unconditional victory still remains the way forward.”
Regarding moves by Finland and Sweden to join NATO, Stefanishyna said Ukraine’s application to join the organization “remains valid.” She added that she believes NATO’s response to consider Finland’s and Sweden’s applications immediately indicates that the alliance has learned from its mistakes since 2008, when Ukraine applied. Its request has been on hold since then.
NATO’s “promises without delivering on decisions in terms of membership” in 2008 have “basically led to three wars, two of which are now happening on Ukrainian territory,” she said.
VACABULARY: READJUSTED, STRATEGY, TERRITORY, UNCONDITIONAL, VICTORY, A WAY FORWARD, VALID, ON HOLD, DELIVERING, TERMS OF MEMBERSHIP
Stefanishyna touted Ukraine’s victory Saturday in the Eurovision Song Contest as “another symbol of unity,” showing that “people and nations are standing for my country and for us.”
Russia has failed to achieve substantial territorial gains over the past month in eastern Ukraine and is unlikely to dramatically increase its rate of advance over the next month, according to an assessment from the British Defense Ministry.
Despite small-scale initial advances, the offensive in Donbas has lost momentum, and Russia has probably suffered losses of a third of the ground combat force it committed to the invasion of Ukraine in February, the assessment said.
VACABULARY: EUROVISION SONG CONTEST, SYMBOL OF UNITY, SUBSTANTIAL, UNLIKELY, DRAMATICALLY, RATE OF ADVANCE, SMALL-SCALE, MOMENTUM, SUFFERED LOSSES, INVASION
Russia has also lost critical equipment, such as bridging materials and reconnaissance drones. Low morale and reduced combat effectiveness are likely to continue to hinder Russian operations in Ukraine, the ministry said.
Last week, Ukraine significantly damaged a Russian convoy as it tried to cross a river in the Donbas region, according to Ukrainian and British officials.
A lengthy convoy of evacuees from the southeastern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, which is under near-total Russian control, reached safety in the city of Zaporizhzhia on Saturday, a city official said.
The convoy—which was held up for more than three days—numbered as many as 1,000 cars long, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol said in a Telegram post, making it one of the largest single evacuations from besieged Mariupol since the war started.
VACABULARY: CRITICAL EQUIPMENT, BRIDGING MATERIALS, RECONNAISANCE DRONES, reduced combat effectiveness, lenghty convoy, near-total control, reached safety, help up, evacuations, desieged
The delays were caused by Russian troops not allowing the evacuees to leave, and the journey involved a winding route west on Ukraine’s southern coast and then inland to Zaporizhzhia, Reuters reported.
A wartime curfew in Kyiv will begin an hour later starting Sunday, the mayor said, as the capital treads cautiously toward some semblance of normalcy amid the Russian invasion.
The curfew will now be from 11:00 pm to 5:00 am, the mayor, Vitali Klitschko, said in a Telegram post. Public transit will also have extended hours, with the city’s metro system running from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm, he said.
VACABULARY: delays, evacuees, journey, involved, a winding route, Reuters, to tread cautiously, semblance, normalcy, amid, curfew, transit, extended hours
Starting Monday, he said in another message, payment will again be required for public transit in the city, after it had been made free during the invasion.
Klitschko urged Kyiv residents to follow the curfew and not to ignore air raid sirens “because the threat of rocket attacks on Kyiv remains.”
The mayor of Kharkiv, the northeastern Ukrainian city that had been under attack from Russia, said Ukraine’s battle against Russian forces there has been won, while Western military analysts made a similar assessment.
“There were no Russian troops inside the city of Kharkiv,” the mayor, Ihor Terekhov, told the BBC. “Russian tanks and armored fighting vehicles were eliminated by Ukrainian fighters.”
VACABULARY: residents, ignore, air raids, forces, won, analists, assessments, troops, tanks, armored fighting vehicles, eliminated
He said people were starting to return to the city. Still, the regional governor, Oleh Synyehubov, urged people not to return home, saying it was “still too dangerous,” with Russian forces having mined “absolutely everything.”
The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War said Friday that Ukraine “appears to have won the Battle of Kharkiv.”
“The Russian military has likely decided to withdraw fully from its positions around Kharkiv City in the face of Ukrainian counteroffensives and the limited availability of reinforcements,” the institute said.
Kharkiv, located some 20 miles from the Russian border, was Ukraine’s second-most-populous city before Russia’s February 24 invasion. The Kremlin’s forces have sought to encircle, then seize, the city since the beginning of the war. Ukrainian forces, however, have pushed back Russian troops from the area in recent days, the Ukrainian military has said.
VACABULARY: urged, mined, adsolutely, withdraw, counteroffensives, limited availability, reinforcements, located, border, second-most-populous, sought to, encircle, seize