Secretary of State Blinken Makes Unannounced Visit to Ukraine

( – Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an unannounced trip to Ukraine on Tuesday following a visit to Poland where he said the US military aid on its way would make a “real difference” to Ukraine on the battlefield.

Blinken made the trip to Kyiv to reassure President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as the country faces a new offensive by Russian forces along the northeastern border.

In recent days, Russian troops have recaptured between 40-50 square miles of territory in the Kharkiv region, including at least seven villages. Russian forces have also launched an offensive in the east, looking to make gains in the partially occupied region of Donetsk. Fighting was intense on Tuesday in Pokrovsk, in Donetsk just inside the Ukraine border.

According to analysts, the current fighting marks some of the most dangerous for Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion more than two years ago. President Zelenskyy asked Secretary of State Blinken for more air defense systems to protect civilians in northeastern Ukraine.

The Secretary of State acknowledged that Ukraine was facing “a challenging time” and assured Zelenskyy that the forthcoming military aid would “make a real difference against the ongoing Russian aggression.”

While the Ukrainian president thanked Secretary Blinken for the additional aid, he stressed that more was necessary to protect the civilians and Ukrainian soldiers in Kharkiv. Zelenskyy said two additional Patriot air defense systems were needed urgently to protect the people “under Russian missiles.”

A senior official traveling with Secretary Blinken confirmed that the US had already sent long-range ballistic missiles, air defense interceptors, and artillery.

Tuesday’s visit to Kyiv marked Blinken’s fourth trip since the latest Russian offensive began.

The Secretary of State told Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal that the United States plans to continue supporting Ukraine long after the war with Russia ends. Blinken explained that Washington was “determined to help Ukraine succeed,” both in the war and also in “winning the peace,” to build “the strongest possible Ukraine.”

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