Blinken Visits Ukraine to Show US Support

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Ukraine in a show of support for the country opposing the Russian military offensive. The two-day visit, which was kept secret until Blinken’s train arrived at dawn on Tuesday, was his fourth visit to Kyiv since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion in early 2022. The State Department said Blinken would meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. The US diplomatic chief is ‘to discuss battlefield updates, the impact of new US security and economic assistance, long-term security and other commitments, and ongoing work to bolster Ukraine’s economic recovery,’ State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said. ‘He will emphasize America’s commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and democracy in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression,’ Miller added. Officials said Blinken would deliver a ‘powerful message of reassurance’ as the country struggles to contain a major Russian offensive near Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city. The visit comes three weeks after the US Congress finally passed a new military aid package for Ukraine. The breakthrough came after more than a year of bipartisan wrangling in Washington over funding. Meanwhile, the White House said the US was doing ‘everything possible’ to rush the weapons to Ukraine to combat an unexpected Russian ground offensive in the Kharkiv region. ‘We’re doing everything we can - both ourselves and our allies,’ White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters, adding that the new arms package would be announced ‘in the coming days.’ Ukrainian troops, outnumbered and outgunned by the enemy, are awaiting the arrival of much-needed US military assistance. Over the past two days, Moscow has seized about 106 square kilometers of territory and at least seven settlements, most of which have already been depopulated. The monitoring Telegram channel DeepState cites this data. A source close to the Ukrainian military said Russian troops were trying to contain Ukrainian forces in the northeast, while fighting was also taking place in Donetsk, southeast of Kharkiv.