Blinken Makes Fourth Visit to Kyiv Since War, Pledges Support

Secretary of State Antony Blinken took an unscheduled trip to Kyiv on Tuesday where he met with President Volodymr Zelenskyy and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal to reassure them of the US’s continued support for Ukraine as the country faces a new Russian offensive in the northeast.

Russian forces have recently recaptured territory in the Kharkiv region in northeastern Ukraine, retaking roughly 40-50 square miles. Additionally, Russia has launched a new offensive in the partially-occupied Donetsk region, with intense fighting just over the Ukraine border in Pokrovsk.

Analysts suggest that the current fighting in northeastern Ukraine is some of the most intense Ukraine has faced since Russia first launched the full-scale invasion in February 2022.

President Zelenskyy urged the Secretary of State to provide more air defense systems to Ukraine to counter Russia’s aerial campaign in the Kharkiv region.

Blinken told the Ukrainian president that the US was aware that the country was experiencing a “challenging time” and assured him that the military aid currently on its way to Ukraine would “make a real difference” on the battlefield against Russia’s ongoing aggression.

Zelenskyy thanked Blinken for the additional military assistance but stressed that Ukraine needed more weapons to protect the people in Kharkiv. He told Blinken that Kyiv urgently needed two additional Patriot air defense systems to protect civilians in the Karkhiv region who were “under Russian missiles.”

Blinken also met with Prime Minister Shmyhal to assure him that the US would continue to support Ukraine well beyond the conflict. He said the US was “determined to help Ukraine succeed” in defeating Russia and “winning the peace” by helping to build “the strongest possible Ukraine.”

Tuesday’s visit was the Secretary of State’s fourth trip to Kyiv since Russia began its latest offensive.

According to a senior official traveling with Blinken, the US has already supplied Ukraine with additional long-range ballistic missiles, artillery, and air defense interceptors.