The United States’ top diplomat and defence chief were in Ukraine’s capital Sunday, Kyiv said, making the first high-level visit by US officials since Russia invaded two months ago as hundreds remain trapped in the besieged city of Mariupol.
The trip by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin comes as the war enters its third month, with thousands dead and millions displaced.
Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky met the US officials Sunday, as Mariupol’s defences were “already on the brink of collapse” and Ukraine was in dire need of offensive weapons.
On Sunday, the United Nations’ Ukraine crisis coordinator Amin Awad called for an “immediate stop” to fighting in Mariupol to allow trapped civilians to leave.
“The lives of tens of thousands, including women, children and older people, are at stake in Mariupol,” Awad said in a statement.
“We need a pause in fighting right now to save lives.”
The call came a day after the latest attempt to evacuate civilians from Mariupol failed.
Zelenskyy meets top-level US delegation
The U.S. secretaries of state and defense met Sunday night with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the highest-level visit to the war-torn country’s capital by an American delegation since the start of Russia’s invasion.
The meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was confirmed by presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych in an interview on Ukrainian TV.
Zelenskyy congratulates Macron on winning a second term as president of France — and beating a far-right rival seen as close to Russia
Ukraine’s leader has congratulated Emmanuel Macron on winning a second term as president of France — and beating a far-right rival seen as close to Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called Macron “a true friend of Ukraine” on Sunday and expressed appreciation for his support.
Tweeting in French, Zelenskyy said: “I’m convinced that we will advance together toward new joint victories. Toward a strong and united Europe!”.