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Blinken and Austin meet with Zelensky in Kyiv

A building is damaged in shelling in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa. (Stepan Franko/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Sunday afternoon, the highest-level visit by an American delegation since the start of the war.

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A Ukrainian official confirmed that the meeting had occurred, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss the meeting publicly. Zelensky said this weekend that American officials “should not come here with empty hands.”

Attacks continued around eastern Ukraine on Sunday as Russia’s invasion hit the two-month mark. In the south, the last Ukrainian fighters in Mariupol said they remained holed up at a steel plant with civilians, sheltering from continued bombing. Should Mariupol come under Russian control, it would be a major development in the war.

Here’s what else to know

  • Efforts to shuttle civilians out of Mariupol failed again Sunday, according to Ukrainian officials, who had called for an Orthodox Easter truce to allow evacuations.
  • Ukraine’s prime minister called Blinken and Austin’s visit a significant symbol of solidarity against Russia.
  • Civilian members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have been detained in eastern Ukraine, the organization confirmed.
  • The Washington Post has lifted its paywall for readers in Russia and Ukraine. Telegram users can subscribe to our channel for updates.