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Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in Congress on April 28. Photo: Melina Mara/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Kyiv on May 5-6 to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to "reaffirm unwavering U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression," the State Department announced Friday.

Why it matters: Blinken will be the most senior-ranking U.S. official to visit Ukraine during the Biden administration. The trip comes in the aftermath of massive Russia military exercises near the Ukrainian border, and could precede a summit this summer between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Context: Russia said it was partially ending its large military build up near Ukraine's eastern border last week and withdrew troops, though it will leave armored vehicles there until the fall, according to the New York Times.

  • Ukrainian troops are still battling Russian-backed separatist groups in eastern Ukraine, and Russian troops continue to illegally occupy Crimea.
  • Tensions between the U.S. and Russia are running high, with both countries expelling diplomats and imposing sanctions in recent weeks after the U.S. accused Russia of an array of destabilizing cyber activities.

What they're saying: Secretary Blinken will "encourage continued progress on Ukraine’s institutional reform agenda, particularly anti-corruption action, which is key to securing Ukraine’s democratic institutions, economic prosperity, and Euro-Atlantic future," the State Department said.

The big picture: Blinken's Ukrainian trip will come after he attends the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers’ Meeting in London on May 3-5. President Biden will meet with G7, NATO and EU allies in England and Brussels in June as part of his first overseas trip.

Go deeper ... Scoop: Leaked Ukraine memo reveals scope of Russia's aggression

Go deeper

Blinken tells diplomats State Department lacks answers for "Havana syndrome"

Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 5. Photo: Saul Loeb/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a letter obtained by NBC News that the Department of State lacks answers for the cause of and treatments for unexplained health incidents that have affected U.S. diplomats working in multiple countries.

Why it matters: As many as 200 Americans who worked in overseas posts have said they experienced symptoms consistent with "Havana Syndrome," which has been used to describe mysterious brain injuries suffered by embassy staff.

Del Rio bridge camp empty following Haitian migrant surge

A boy bathes himself in a jug of water inside a migrant camp at the U.S.-Mexico border on Sept. 21 in Del Rio, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The last migrants camping under the Del Rio International Bridge, which connects Texas and Mexico, departed on Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced during a White House press briefing.

Driving the news: Thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, had arrived to the makeshift camp after crossing the southern border seeking asylum. Roughly 1,800 migrants will now head to U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing centers.

White House says it expects federal contractors to be vaccinated by Dec. 8

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House said in new guidance Friday that it expects millions of federal contractors to be vaccinated against the coronavirus no later than Dec. 8.

Why it matters: Companies with federal contractors have been waiting for formal guidance from the White House before requiring those employees to get vaccinated, according to Reuters.