Blinken visits Kyiv, pledges additional US support

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has made an unannounced visit to Kyiv. He met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and promised additional support for the war against Russia.

Blinken made the visit on Wednesday. Some US lawmakers have complained about the volume of aid being given to Ukraine, which amounts to more than 40 billion dollars for defense alone. Still, Blinken pledged a new funding of 1 billion dollars.

Blinken said, "We are determined, the United States, to continue to walk side by side with you."

Zelenskyy said, "Always the leaders of the United States, when they come, it's this great message of support."

Zelenskyy saw more evidence of the need for such support when Russian forces struck the eastern city of Kostiantynivka. He said they hit a "market, shops, a pharmacy" and "people who did nothing wrong." At least 17 people were killed.

Ukraine's allies have been questioning the pace of the counteroffensive against Russian forces. Analysts with a British think tank, the Royal United Services Institute, said the slow pace of the counteroffensive has allowed the Russians to "reset."

They added that Ukraine's partners need to help in preparations for winter fighting if the "initiative is to be retained."