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Zelenskyy meets Blinken, Austin in Kyiv: Ukraine presidency

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Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Kyiv, his office said Sunday.

Presidential aide Oleksiy Arestovych, speaking during an interview on YouTube earlier Sunday, confirmed that the meeting was ongoing.

“Talking to the president. Maybe they can help.” he added.

This was the first meeting between Zelenskyy and US officials since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24.

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Arestovych repeated Ukraine's appeal for offensive weapons, “because as long as there are no 'offensives', there will be a new Bucha every day”, he added, referring to the town where UN officials said they had documented the unlawful killings of around 50 civilians.

Referring to the visiting US officials, Arestovych said: “They wouldn't come here if they weren't ready to give (weapons).”

On Saturday, Zelenskyy said that he was grateful for the help Washington had provided to Ukraine thus far, even if he wanted heavier, more powerful weapons to use against the Russian forces.

During his YouTube interview, Arestovych said in the Black Sea port of Mariupol, where the remaining Ukrainian forces are surrounded, the defence was “on the brink of collapse”.

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