To evaluate Ukraine’s counteroffensive and to convey sustained U.S. support for Kyiv’s attempts to drive out the Kremlin’s soldiers, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken came to Kyiv on an unannounced visit.
Since Ukraine’s counteroffensive began, Blinken’s visit was the highest-ranking American official to come to the country. Russia had not fired missiles at Kyiv nearly a week before his arrival, but they did so only hours before landing. Ukrainian air defenses could shoot down the rockets, but not before they rained destruction on nearby communities.
At least 17 people were killed, and 32 others were injured in the assault on a market in Kostiantynivka. The Defense Ministry said a ballistic missile struck the marketplace.
New military funding in the range of $175 million to $200 million was anticipated to be announced during Blinken’s visit. As Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russia continues to make small gains, a major military aid package from the United States is planned for later this week. On Wednesday, Blinken claimed that the Ukrainian troops had achieved “excellent progress,” Tyab countered that losses among the Ukrainian soldiers had been growing and that the counteroffensive had stalled due to faulty tactics.
Blinken paid his respects to the Ukrainian servicemen and women who died defending their nation by laying a wreath at the Berkovetske cemetery in Kyiv. “We want to make sure that Ukraine has everything it needs, not just to win in the counteroffensive, but also to have a powerful deterrence,” he added.
After Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative and its regular bombing of port infrastructure in the Odesa area, from which most grain is shipped overseas, authorities in Washington announced they would examine other export routes for Ukrainian grain. Possible options include new overland routes or navigating closer to the shore to avoid international seas where the Russian navy may be present.
Blinken will spend the night in Kyiv to convey a message of American solidarity with Ukraine while the conflict grinds on. The progress of Ukraine’s counteroffensive will be examined alongside other mutual concerns.