US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spent about three hours with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his leadership team in the capital kyiv.
“That was the whole focus of our visit. We wanted to focus on the work that needed to be done looking at the game plan that we have, how we’re moving forward in all these different lines of effort,” Blinken said. journalists from an undisclosed location in Poland, near the Ukrainian border.
Asked by a reporter what they saw on the way to the capital, Blinken said they took a train from southwestern Poland to kyiv.
“So we didn’t see much except to look out the window of the train. In kyiv itself, we went straight to the presidential palace.”
The head of US diplomacy said that “there were not many opportunities to talk to average Ukrainians”.
We certainly saw people on the streets of Kyiv – proof that the battle for Kyiv has been won,” he said.
On the surface, there were signs of “normal life” in parts of the city, he said.
“But this is in stark contrast to what is happening in other parts of Ukraine, in the south and east, where Russian brutality is doing horrible things to people every day,” Blinken said.
A bit of context: While in Kyiv, Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with Zelensky, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov and Interior Minister Denys Monastrysky for an extended bilateral meeting, said a senior State Department official.