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all eyes on ukraine

Ukrainian officials say Blinken and Austin met with Zelensky in Kyiv

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin traveled to Kyiv and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday afternoon, Ukrainian officials said. They are the first top U.S. officials known to visit Kyiv since Russia launched its invasion on Feb. 24.

The U.S. government did not comment on the trip, with the news coming from Ukrainian officials like Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to Zelensky. During an appearance on Ukrainian television, Arestovych said Blinken and Austin were "in Kyiv, talking to the president. Maybe something will be decided regarding how they can help."

This meeting comes after Russian forces shifted their focus to eastern Ukraine, and sends "a powerful signal to Russia that Ukraine will not be left alone with this war," one Ukrainian lawmaker told The New York Times. Congress has approved $13.6 billion in emergency spending for the invasion, with that money going toward weapons and supplies.