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Blinken visits Kyiv in show of support for Ukraine’s counteroffensive

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Ukraine’s capital Wednesday for an unannounced visit hours after Russia launched a missile attack on the city, in a trip intended to show confidence in Kyiv’s forces amid a grinding counteroffensive.

Blinken’s trip aimed to assess Ukraine’s 3-month-old counteroffensive and signal continued U.S. support as some Western allies are expressing worries about Ukraine’s progress in driving out Russian forces after 18 months of war, according to U.S. officials.

After arriving in Kyiv, Blinken laid a wreath at the city’s Berkovetske cemetery to commemorate members of the Ukrainian armed forces who lost their lives defending the country.

“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,” Blinken said during the visit. “We’re also determined to continue to work with our partners as they build and rebuild a strong economy, strong democracy.”

In a conference call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that U.S. assistance to Ukraine “can’t influence the course of the special military operation.”

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