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Zelensky meets with Blinken, Austin in Kyiv: reports

Brendan Smialowski/Pool via Associated Press - Associated Press/Alex Brandon

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reportedly met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Kyiv on Sunday. 

The Biden administration is yet to confirm the meeting, however an adviser to Zelensky was cited as confirming it by the Wall Street Journal, Associated Press and others.

The leaders were expected to discuss additional military assistance as Russia increases its forces in the eastern part of the country, according to an announcement from Zelensky on Saturday.

“I don’t think that this is a big secret. The people from the U.S. are coming to us tomorrow. I shall … meeting with the State Secretary Mr. Blinken and the Defense secretary who are coming to us,” Zelensky said to reporters during a briefing.

Blinken and Austin’s visit marks the most senior U.S. officials to visit Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began on Feb. 24.

A source in the Biden administration told Axios that Blinken is expected to testify before both the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees starting Tuesday following his trip.

The Hill has reached out to the State Department, the Department of Defense and the White House for comment on the meeting.

It comes as many Ukrainians celebrate Orthodox Easter, despite Russia’s ongoing attack.  

“We are enduring dark times. And on this bright day, most of us are not in bright clothes,” Zelensky said in remarks on Sunday. “But we are fighting for a bright idea. On the bright side. And the truth, people, the Lord and the holy heavenly light are on our side.”

Tags Antony Blinken Lloyd Austin Volodymyr Zelensky

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