Secretary of State Antony Blinken makes unannounced visit to Ukraine, will deliver speech Tuesday

Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an unannounced visit to Ukraine on Tuesday to reaffirm US support for the war-torn country. 

The State Department said the top Biden administration diplomat would be meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other key officials during his stop in Kyiv to “discuss battlefield updates, the impact of new U.S. security and economic assistance, long-term security and other commitments, and ongoing work to bolster Ukraine’s economic recovery,” according to the Associated Press. 

Blinken, 62, is also slated to deliver a speech in the Ukrainian capital later Tuesday in which he will tout Ukraine’s “strategic successes” amid Russia’s invasion, a senior US official told the outlet. 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Ukraine unannounced on Tuesday to reaffirm US support for the war-torn country. AFP via Getty Images

The secretary of state is also expected to stress that Ukraine must ramp-up efforts to fight government corruption if it seeks to integrate itself with the West, according to the US official. 

The trip marks Blinken’s fourth visit to Ukraine since Russian troops stormed its border in February of 2022. 

His visit comes days after the Biden administration pledged another $400 million in military aid to Ukraine from existing US stockpiles. 

Antony Blinken has visited Ukraine four times since Russian troops stormed President Volodymyr Zelensky’s country in February 2022.

The latest package will provide Ukraine with much-needed surface-to-air missiles, artillery rounds and High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and ammunition, among other pieces of offensive and defensive weaponry. 

It is the third tranche of aid for Kyiv since Congress approved $60 billion in additional funding last month. 

The senior US official told the Associated Press that some of the US-provided artillery, air defense interceptors and long-range ballistic missiles have already reached the front lines. 

Display of destroyed Russian military equipment at St. Michael’s Square in Kyiv on May 4, 2024.

With additional American aid in hand, Zelensky said Monday that the objective of his military is “crystal clear — to thwart Russia’s attempt to expand the war.” 

“Now we are getting more and more results, destroying the occupier’s infantry and machinery,” the Ukrainian president said in his nightly address, noting that fierce fighting continues in the Kharkiv region and other parts of the country near the Russian border. 

Ukraine flags for fallen soldiers and civilian victims of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine at the Independence Square Majdan Nesaleschnosti.

“It’s a challenging moment,” Blinken said during an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

“We are not going anywhere, and neither are more than some 50 countries that are supporting Ukraine,” he added. “That will continue, and if Putin thinks he can outlast Ukraine, outlast its supporters, he’s wrong.’’

The US has provided Ukraine roughly $50.6 billion in military aid since Russia’s invasion. 

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