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US Defense Secretary Austin makes unannounced visit to Ukraine

by Dinara Khalilova November 20, 2023 9:56 AM 1 min read
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (right) arrives at the Kyiv train station, Ukraine, on Nov. 20, 2023. (Lloyd Austin/X)
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U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin arrived in Kyiv early on Nov. 20 to meet top Ukrainian officials and "reinforce the staunch support for Ukraine's fight for freedom," the Pentagon reported.

"I'm here today 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," Austin said on X (formerly Twitter).

The visit wasn't announced in advance.

Austin's talks with Ukrainian leaders "will focus on further bolstering the strategic partnership between the United States and Ukraine, to include ensuring Ukraine's Armed Forces have the battlefield capabilities they need for both the winter and to defend their country against future Russian threats," reads the Pentagon announcement.

Later this week, Austin will host a virtual meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, also known as the Ramstein summit, to coordinate further military aid to Ukraine.

The 17th Ramstein summit since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine will gather representatives of nearly 50 nations.

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