Blinken will highlight NATO’s support for Ukraine in its war with Russia this week in Europe

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a meeting in Berlin, on May 15, 2022. (AP Photo /Michael Sohn) (Michael Sohn/)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will highlight NATO’s continued support for Ukraine in its war with Ukraine this week in Europe. Russiathe head of the State Department for Europe said on Monday, at a time when the war in Gaza continues to occupy much of the government’s agenda in Washington.

The war between Israel and the Hamas terrorist group and rising tensions across the Middle East have raised concerns that Washington may not be able to maintain the level of military and diplomatic support it has provided to Ukraine since the large-scale invasion of Russia in February 2022.

Undersecretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs James O’Brien also told reporters ahead of Blinken’s trip to Brussels that the secretary of state will highlight the continued commitment of the United States and its allies as he participates in the first meeting at the level of foreign ministers of the NATO-Ukraine Council in Brussels.

71 Russian drones shot down in one day

Ukraine claimed on November 25 that it shot down 71 Russian drones during the night, in what he described as the worst attack with these devices against the capital, kyiv, since the start of the invasion in February 2022.

Five people were injured, including an 11-year-old boy, and dozens of buildings were left without power, Ukrainian authorities said.

The air force destroyed 71 Shahed attack drones. “Most of them were shot down in the kyiv region,” the army said.

The aerial alert in the city lasted six hours, and the remains of fallen drones caused fires and damaged buildings in different parts of the capital, said the mayor, Vitali Klitschko.

“The enemy continues to sow terror”said the councilor.

The attack caused large-scale power outages in the capital after a power line broke, the Ukrainian Energy Ministry said.

“Consequently, 77 residential buildings and 120 buildings in the central part of the city were left without electricity,” the ministry detailed.

Drone attacks have multiplied in recent months, and have been carried out by both kyiv and Russian forces.

Russia indicated on Friday that it had shot down 16 Ukrainian drones in the south of the country and over the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Moscow in 2014 and a regular target of attacks by Kiev forces, due to its strategic value in the Black Sea.

The same day, the Ukrainian military said its air defense systems had shot down three Iranian-made attack drones launched by Russian forces overnight.

This Saturday’s attack coincides, on the other hand, with the commemoration in Ukraine of the “Holodomor”, the famine and death of millions of people in the country in the 1930s due to the policies of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

“More than 70 [drones] Shahed on the night of the Holodomor commemoration (…) Russian leaders are proud of their ability to kill,” Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky commented on his social networks, emphasizing that it is “impossible” to forget or forgive these crimes of Stalinism.

Ukraine lost between four and eight million inhabitants in the great famine of 1932-1933 during the process of collectivization of its lands. This famine, according to historians, was orchestrated by Stalin to repress any nationalist and independence fickleness in the country, then a Soviet republic.

(With information from Reuters)