U.S. Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin arrived in wartime Kyiv today in a gesture of unwavering support as questions swirled over the sustainability of vital Western assistance as the war with Russia drags on.

Austin wrote on X that his visit was to deliver an important message that the United States will continue to stand with Ukraine in their fight for freedom against Russia’s aggression, both now and into the future.

Earlier, he had insisted that the Ukrainian people had reminded the world of what it means to defend integrity and sovereignty, stating that U.S will stand on the side of freedom and liberty.

The trip comes amid increasing division over aid for Ukraine in the U.S. legislature with a U.S. presidential election in November next year and a joint Ukraine-U.S. military industry conference in Washington due to take place next month.

Russia, which launched its invasion in February 2022, controls nearly a fifth of Ukraine. The West sent in military equipment and Ukraine mounted a counteroffensive push this year to retake occupied land, but it has not made a big breakthrough.

November 20, 2023

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