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Responsible for rocking foundations of world peace

By LI YANG | China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-16 08:21
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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attends a meeting in Kyiv on May 15, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, making an unannounced visit to Kyiv on Tuesday, apparently tried his best to "rally the spirits of glum Ukrainians facing a fierce new Russian offensive", as the Associated Press observed.

Apart from assuring his audience they are not alone and that the long-delayed military aid from the United States is now on its way and will make a "real difference" on the battlefield, the top US diplomat took to the stage at a local pub to play rhythm guitar and sing Neil Young's 1989 hit Rockin' in the Free World with a local band.

The great lengths Blinken has gone to in a bid to boost Ukrainians' morale speaks volumes of how low it has fallen. Analysts have called the current situation in Ukraine one of the most dangerous moments since the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out in February 2022 thanks to new offensive Moscow has recently organized in the northeast of Ukraine.

"We meet at a critical moment," said Blinken, showing the Joe Biden administration also recognizes the graveness of the situation despite the confidence he has tried to instill in the Ukrainians, when speaking to 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."

But the lukewarm responses from his audience should remind Blinken that Ukrainians have been fighting for the past 27 months and have heard such words before.

For more and more of them, the conflict is one in which Ukrainians are sacrificing their lives for the US' interests. They see clearly that the majority of the US' aid to Ukraine, as Biden admitted, is invested in the US, creating jobs and upgrading the US arsenal, helping Biden to win support from voters by pleasing the workers, capitalists and championing himself as the leader of a "free world".

After the Gaza conflict started on Oct 7 last year, the US' input in Ukraine has unavoidably been affected, as Israel has a greater claim on US support than Ukraine, something US lawmakers make no bones of.

Blinken has visited the Middle East seven times since Oct 7, while the Tuesday visit to Kyiv was only his fourth since February 2022, and his last visit to Kyiv was in September.

The other factor Kyiv must have taken into account while receiving Blinken is what will happen if Biden is not reelected in the US presidential election in November. That's a question Blinken cannot answer.

Blinken told Kyiv that the US intends to support Ukrainians beyond the conflict's end helping them build "the strongest possible Ukraine". However, the conflict has to end before any rebuilding takes place, and that is something the Biden administration has been trying to prevent. Instead, it is doing all it can to prolong the conflict, as long as no US blood is shed, of course, believing it serves the US' interests.

For how long will the Ukrainian people be willing to continue to die so that the Biden administration can claim it is rockin' in a free world.

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