Blinken tells Kyiv students: ‘we meet at a critical moment’

(14 May 2024)

Kyiv – 14 May 2024
1. Ukrainian and U.S. flags
2. People walking in hall before start of news conference
3. Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, approaching lectern
4. Cutaway of media
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Antony Blinken, United States Secretary of State:
“(Vladimir) Putin is ramping up yet another offensive against Ukraine in Kharkiv and across the east, sending wave after wave of Russian soldiers, Iranian drones, North Korean artillery and tanks, missiles and fighter jets built with machines and parts supplied by China. The coming weeks and months, will demand a great deal of Ukrainians who have already sacrificed so much. But I have come to Ukraine with a message: you are not alone. The United States has been by your side from day one. We are with you today and we will stay by your side until Ukraine’s security, its sovereignty, its ability to choose its own path is guaranteed.”
6. Wide of participants of delegation standing next to the entrance to the hall
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Antony Blinken, United States Secretary of State:
“Now, after the delay in approving the latest U.S. assistance package to Ukraine, a delay that left you more vulnerable to Russia’s attacks, some Ukrainians may be wondering whether you can count on America to sustain its commitment. The $60 billion package that was approved by our Congress, with overwhelming support across both political parties, both houses of Congress, I think, demonstrates that you can, and a significant majority of Americans believe we should continue to provide assistance to Ukraine.”
8. Students listening to Blinken
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Antony Blinken, United States Secretary of State:
“For decades, Putin has caused unspeakable grief for the people of Ukraine. He’s inflicted every kind of degradation and harshness. And yet, like Shevchenko (Taras Shevchenko, Ukrainian national poet) before you, what is inside Ukrainians, that has not changed. The spirit of Ukrainians cannot be destroyed by a bomb or buried in a mass grave. It cannot be bought with a bribe or repressed with a threat. It is pure. It is unbreakable. And it is why Ukraine will succeed. Slava, Ukraine (Glory to Ukraine).”
10. Woman leaving her seat
11. Blinken leaves news conference
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken sought on Tuesday to rally the spirits of glum Ukrainians facing a fierce new Russian offensive, assuring them that they are not alone and that billions of dollars in American military aid on its way to the country would make a “real difference” on the battlefield.

On an unannounced visit to Kyiv, Blinken said that despite a monthslong delay in U.S. assistance that left the country vulnerable to renewed Russian military strikes, more weaponry was coming and some had already arrived.

He made the case even as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed to him personally for more air defense systems to protect civilians under intense Russian fire in the northeast. Blinken also lambasted Russian President Vladimir Putin for underestimating Ukraine’s determination to fight back.

“We meet at a critical moment,” he told students at the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. “The coming weeks and months will demand a great deal of Ukrainians, who have already sacrificed so much. I’ve come to Ukraine with a message: You are not alone.”

“In fact, Russia’s been losing the battle to control Ukraine’s destiny for 20 years. And Putin has it wrong – time is on Ukraine’s side,” he said. “As the war goes on, Russia is going back in time. Ukraine is moving forward.”

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