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Antony Blinken makes sudden visit to Kyiv,performs with a guitar in a bar to give a strong message to Ukraine as conflict with Russia intensifies

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 15 May 2024, 04:35 am Print

Antony Blinken makes sudden visit to Kyiv,performs with a guitar in a bar to give a strong message to Ukraine as conflict with Russia intensifies Ukraine-Russia

Antony Blinken performs with guitar in Kyiv bar during his sudden visit to Ukraine. Photo Courtesy: Screengrab of viral video on X

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken took a red guitar in his hand and performed at a basement bar in Kyiv on Tuesday (May 14, 2024) where he expressed his support to the conflict-ravaged country and said the people of Ukraine are fighting for a free world.

Blinken made his unannounced visit to Ukraine on Tuesday (May 14, 2024) to voice his support for the country amid the ongoing conflict against Russia.

According to reports, he performed a rendition of Neil Young's 'Rockin' in the Free World' in the bar along with a local band from Kyiv.

Before his performance, he told the audience: "Your soldiers, your citizens, particularly in the northeast in Kharkiv, are suffering tremendously."

"But they need to know, you need to know, the United States is with you, so much of the world is with you," he said.

"And they’re fighting not just for a free Ukraine but for the free world, and the free world is with you too," Blinken added.

During his visit, Blinken met Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky when they discussed long-term security arrangements.

"Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy today in Kyiv. The two discussed recent battlefield updates and the importance of newly-arrived U.S. security assistance to helping repel Russian attacks," read a statement issued by US Department of State spokesman Matthew Miller. 

"Secretary Blinken reiterated the United States’ enduring support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity and our commitment to Ukraine’s recovery," Miller said.

According to reports, Blinken arrived in Ukraine after his nine-hour journey via sleeper train from the Polish border.

His visit comes as the country struggles to hold back a major Russian incursion near its second-biggest city of Kharkiv, reported BBC.

He also visited Kyiv at a time when the US Congress agreed to a new USD 61bn aid package for Ukraine recently.

Russia-Ukraine tension escalates

Escalating Russian attacks in northeast Ukraine have killed civilians, sparked further displacement and caused massive destruction to railways and other infrastructure, a senior official with the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, told the Security Council on Tuesday.

Lisa Doughten, OCHA’s director of financing and partnerships, said relentless hostilities continue along the border with Russia and on the frontline.

Following several waves of attacks, Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv, was struck again that day, injuring 15 civilians, she reported.

Thousands evacuated

“These attacks have triggered yet more displacement from border and frontline communities. As of today, authorities report that over 7,000 civilians were evacuated from border areas of the Kharkiv region,” she said.

People in the Donetsk and Sumy regions, located in the east and north of the country, were also impacted by recent attacks.

Last month, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, recorded more than 700 civilian casualties across Ukraine, with 129 people killed and 574 injured, representing a significant increase for a second consecutive month. 

Most casualties, 90 percent, occurred in Ukrainian-controlled territory.