Russia attacks Ukraine: Blinken, Austin meet Zelenskyy in Kyiv, official says

KYIV, Ukraine — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met Sunday with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, an adviser to the Ukrainian leader said.

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The adviser, Oleksiy Arestovych, said in an interview on Ukrainian television Sunday that the talks are going on “right now,” The Associated Press reported.

It was the highest-level visit by a U.S. delegation since the war began on Feb. 24, The Washington Post reported.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal called the visit “a very important political symbol” reflecting unity in support of Ukraine.

The meeting came as Ukraine pressed the West for more powerful weapons in its fight against the Russian invasion.

“They should not come here with empty hands,” Zelenskyy said Saturday during a news conference in an underground subway station in Kyiv, the Post reported. “We are expecting specific things and specific weapons.”

The White House and Pentagon did not confirm Zelenskyy’s remarks about a visit on Saturday.

The first European leaders to visit Kyiv after the invasion were the prime ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia, The New York Times reported. They crossed the border from Poland into Ukraine by train on March 15. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson took a train to Kyiv in a surprise meeting with Zelenskyy on April 9, the newspaper reported.

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