Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Kyiv on Wednesday, bringing with him $1 billion in aid and a show of support for Ukraine’s three-month counteroffensive against Russian forces.
“Returned to Kyiv today to meet with our Ukrainian partners to discuss their ongoing counteroffensive, future assistance and reconstruction efforts, and above all, to reinforce the unwavering U.S. commitment to Ukraine,” Blinken posted on social media Wednesday morning.
On the first visit to Kyiv by a top U.S. official since the counteroffensive began in June, Blinken is expected to announce a new $1 billion package of wartime assistance.
“This is a sign of respect to all Ukrainian warriors who gave their life for our freedom and the right to live,” wrote Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
Standing beside Kuleba at a joint media briefing, Blinken added, “We want to make sure that Ukraine has what it needs, not only to succeed in the counteroffensive, but has what it needs for the long term, to make sure that it has a strong deterrent.”
The Secretary’s visit comes as Ukraine’s slowly grinding counteroffensive had broken through a key Russian line near a village called Verbove, about six miles east of the village of Robotyne, which Ukrainian fighters took back last week.
According to the Institute for the Study of War, Ukrainian light infantry has advanced to positions beyond anti-tank ditches and dragon’s teeth anti-tank obstacles that comprise the current Russian defensive layer. The move comes ahead of a Ukrainian advance in western Zaporizhzhia.
Blinken was expected to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky Wednesday evening.