US arms will make ‘real difference’ to Ukraine’s defence, Blinken says in Kyiv

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken sought Tuesday to rally the spirits of glum Ukrainians facing a fierce new Russian offensive, assuring them that they are not alone and that billions of dollars in American military aid on its way to the country would make a “real difference” on the battlefield.

On an unannounced visit to Kyiv, Blinken told Ukrainian leaders that despite a monthslong delay in U.S. assistance that left them vulnerable to renewed Russian military strikes more weaponry is coming and some has already arrived.

He made the case even as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed to him personally for more air defense systems to protect civilians under intense Russian fire in the northeast. Blinken also lambasted Russian President Vladimir Putin for underestimating Ukraine’s determination to fight back.

“We meet at a critical moment,” he told students at the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. “The coming weeks and months will demand a great deal of Ukrainians, who have already sacrificed so much. I’ve come to Ukraine with a message: You are not alone.”

Analysts have called this moment one of the most dangerous for Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.

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