After months of conflict with invading Russian soldiers, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin were scheduled to visit Kyiv on Sunday to discuss Ukraine’s request for more powerful weapons.
The visit, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed on Saturday, would be the highest-level visit by US officials to Ukraine since the conflict began on February 24.
Blinken and Austin’s travel arrangements have yet to be verified by the White House. The Pentagon and the State Department both declined to comment.
As the conflict enters its third month, there appears to be no end in sight to the violence that has startled the globe, killed thousands, uprooted millions, and left cities in ruins.
“We’ll review this exact list of weaponry that we need and the rate of supplies tomorrow,” Zelensky said at a dramatic Saturday evening news conference in an underground metro station. find out more
“We’d like to have… high-capacity heavy weaponry. Believe me, as soon as we acquire (more guns), as soon as there are enough of them, we will swiftly reclaim this or that briefly seized territory.”
Russia renewed its attack on troops making a last stand in a massive steel mill in Mariupol, days after declaring victory in the vital southern port city and claiming that its forces did not need to take the plant.
The conflict’s main fight, the assault on Mariupol, has been raging for weeks. The city’s capture is considered critical to Russia’s efforts to unite the eastern Donbas region with Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula Moscow captured in 2014.
For years, separatists backed by Moscow have controlled territory in the Donbas region, which includes Donetsk, Mariupol, and Luhansk.
Fighting was still going on during the Orthodox Easter break, according to Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai.