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Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
Peter Martin

CIA Director Burns assures Ukraine of US support in Kyiv visit

WASHINGTON — CIA Director William Burns traveled to Kyiv last week, where he sought to reassure Ukrainian leaders that the U.S. would maintain support as the war drags on.

Burns, who last visited in November, reinforced that commitment in meetings with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and his Ukrainian intelligence counterparts, according to a U.S. official.

The trip was in keeping with Burns’s occasional role as interlocutor with both Russia and Ukraine. He has made such trips to lay out U.S. intelligence over the conflict, as he did with Russian President Vladimir Putin before the invasion began last February, in an effort to persuade the Russian leader to change his mind and not go ahead with the invasion.

Burns’ visit was reported earlier by the Washington Post.

U.S. officials have repeatedly sought to reassure Ukraine that money and weapons will keep flowing to the Kyiv government despite warnings from Republican leaders who now control the House of Representatives that they will scrutinize the assistance more closely.

On Thursday evening, the U.S. announced a major new package of aid for Ukraine, agreeing to send $2.5 billion of Stryker vehicles, Bradley armored vehicles, millions of rounds of ammunition and other gear.

The Pentagon announcement came on the eve of a defense ministers meeting on Ukraine at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

The U.S. and its allies are looking to help Ukraine retake territory that Russia took after its Feb. 24, 2022 invasion, amid concern that Russia may launch a major new ground campaign in the spring.

Russian forces continue to put pressure on Ukrainian troops near the towns of Bakhmut and Soledar. Ukrainian troops repelled attacks near 14 settlements in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, including Bakhmut and Soledar, over the past day, the General Staff said on Facebook Thursday.

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