U.S. Secretary of State visits Kyiv to boost morale and aid delivery

Antony Blinken on his way to Kyiv
Antony Blinken on his way to Kyiv

Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Kyiv for a two-day visit to "demonstrate unwavering support" and help channel the delivery of a recently approved $60 billion aid package to defend "freedom against Russian aggression," WSJ reported on May 14.

A key objective of Blinken’s visit is to discuss how the Pentagon’s “assistance is going to be executed in a fashion to help shore up their defenses and enable them to take back the initiative on the battlefield,” a U.S. official said.

That initiative could be drawing out of reach. After the breach of Ukrainian defenses in Kharkiv Oblast by Russian forces last week, seizing several villages and opening a new front in the third year of the war, Kyiv was forced to send reinforcements to the region.

This could jeopardize other parts of Ukraine’s front, especially the already-strained forces in the east of Donbas.

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According to military analysts, Moscow seized the advantage on the battlefield and appears to be redoubling efforts before the arrival of U.S. aid, which will presumably help Ukraine stiffen its resistance. The senior U.S. official said some of the new aid from the U.S. is already arriving on the front lines.

Ukraine has persistently sought long-range precision artillery to disrupt Russian military logistics and preemptively target forces before they approach the front lines.

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However, according to U.S. officials, the shortage of weaponry at the front line is just one part of the problem. Kyiv is also grappling with a Russian military that seems to have gleaned lessons from the initial stages of the war and is now showing signs of adaptability and resurgence.

On May 14, Blinken arrived in Kyiv for his first visit to the Ukrainian capital since Congress passed a long-awaited aid bill for Ukraine last month.

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