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US Defense Secretary Austin makes his second unannounced visit to Kyiv

On an unexpected trip to Kyiv, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin emphasizes America’s sustained support for Ukraine’s fight against Russia amid military aid funding challenges.
US Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget A. Brink (left) welcoming US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III in Kyiv on the morning of 20 November 2023. Photo: Twitter/@SecDef
US Defense Secretary Austin makes his second unannounced visit to Kyiv

On the morning of 20 November, US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin arrived in Kyiv on an unannounced visit to meet the country’s leaders, he reported on X/Twitter.

The Pentagon chief said he had arrived in the Ukrainian capital to deliver an important message:

“The United States will continue to stand with Ukraine in their fight for freedom against Russia’s aggression, both now and into the future,” he wrote.

The visit is taking place amid a long delay by the US Congress in approving military aid for Ukraine. Earlier, the White House said that US funds for Ukraine were 96% depleted.

This is the Pentagon chief’s second visit to Kyiv since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The last time Austin visited Ukraine was on 24 April 2022 when he came with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and several ministers.

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