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Blinken makes surprise visit to Kyiv, announces $2 bn aid

This was Antony Blinken’s second trip to Kyiv in secrecy since the Russian invasion in February.

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Kyiv: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday made a surprise trip to Kyiv, promising a major $2 bn package of military aid for Ukraine as well as neighbouring countries.

This was Antony Blinken’s second trip to Kyiv in secrecy since the Russian invasion in February.

In meetings with senior Ukrainian officials, Antony Blinken said that the Biden administration would provide $2 billion in long-term foreign military financing to Ukraine and 18 of its neighbors, including NATO members and regional security partners “most potentially at risk for future Russian aggression”, international news agency Associated Press reported.

Blinken’s arrival came after Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, reported “good news” from the war’s frontlines. Ukraine has been waging a counteroffensive in the south and the east, where it said it had recaptured several villages.

In a Wednesday evening address, Zelensky cited “the extremely successful hits in areas where the occupiers are concentrated”, and thanked Ukrainian artillery troops for what he said were successful strikes against Moscow’s forces in the south.

Zelensky declined to give details of which places had been retaken, saying now was “not the time” to name them.

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