Updated Sep 6, 2023 - World

Blinken visits Kyiv ahead of new U.S. aid package announcement

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba meets with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken before a meeting in Kyiv on Wednesday. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Kyiv Wednesday ahead of an expected announcement of over $1 billion in new aid for Ukraine.

The big picture: The unannounced visit, Blinken's fourth since the war began, coincided with Russia's deadliest attack on Ukraine in months.

  • A senior State Department official told reporters that Blinken is likely to announce more than $1 billion in new aid for Ukraine's war effort during his two-day visit, per Reuters.

The latest: A Russian missile strike in the eastern city of Kostyantynivka killed at least 17 people, including one child, on Wednesday.

  • At least 32 people were injured in the attack. Crews were searching wreckage for others who may have been trapped.

Catch up quick: The U.S. has sent billions to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia's unprovoked invasion.

  • Biden asked Congress in August for more than $20 billion for Ukraine's defense and to help with the humanitarian and economic toll of the war.
  • The continued flow of U.S. aid to Kyiv has sparked blowback in Congress as support has waned for Ukraine's war effort among some Republicans.

What he's saying: "We want to make sure that Ukraine has what it needs not only to succeed in the counteroffensive, but has what it needs it for the long term to make sure that it has a strong deterrent, strong defense capacity so that, in the future, aggressions like this don't happen again," Blinken said Wednesday during his remarks with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

Zoom out: Blinken's visit comes shortly after Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was replacing defense minister Oleksii Reznikov, citing a need for "new approaches."

  • Corruption scandals in recent months have led to dismissals in Ukraine's defense ministry.

Go deeper: Russia sees biggest drone attack on its soil since invading Ukraine

Editor's note: This story was updated with new information.

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