US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is due to travel to Ukraine’s capital Kyiv later today, accompanied by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
The pair are expected to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to talk about the country’s demand for more weapons to repel the Russian invasion.
Mr Zelensky announced the visit on Saturdaysaying, “I believe we can get some deals or part of that Ukraine arms package that we agreed to earlier from the United States.
“On the other hand, we have strategic questions on security guarantees, which it is time to discuss in detail, because the United States will be one of these leaders of security countries for our state.
“As soon as we have (more weapons), as soon as there are enough of them, believe me, we will immediately take back this or that territory, which is temporarily occupied.”
The White House has not confirmed the travel plans of Messrs. Blinken and Austin, and the State Department and the Pentagon declined to comment.
Russian forces ‘continually attack’ Mariupol steel plant as Putin sees him ‘grinning in his chair’ – live updates from Ukraine
• Ukraine says it destroyed a Russian command post in the occupied city of Kherson, killing two generals and seriously wounding a third. Russia did not comment on this.
• The Russian siege of the southern city of Mariupol continues, with around 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers and civilians taking refuge in a huge steelworks. An attempt to evacuate civilians failed on Saturday
• Russia says it took control of several villages in the eastern region of Donbass and destroyed 11 Ukrainian military targets overnight
• In Donetsk and Lugansk, Ukrainian forces said they repelled 12 Russian attacks on Saturday, destroying four tanks, 15 armored units and five artillery systems.
• Shelling was reported in residential areas of Kharkiv, with regional governor Oleh Sinehubov saying three people were killed
It comes as the war in Ukraine enters its third month with no end in sight, with thousands dead, millions refugees and cities reduced to rubble.
Eight killed in missile attack on Odessa
Meanwhile, a three-month-old baby girl was among eight people killed after Russia fired cruise missiles at the Black Sea port city of Odessa, according to Ukrainian officials.
Speaking of the casualties, Mr Zelenskyy said: “The war started when this baby was a month old. Can you imagine what is happening?
“They’re just b********…I don’t have another word for it – just b********.”
The baby’s mother and grandmother were also killed and 18 people were injured, according to reports.
How the Azovstal Steelworks Became the Last Outpost in the Brutal Battle of Mariupol
What are Russia’s plans for the ‘second phase’ of the war – and why do they include Moldova?
In addition, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to Mr Zelenskyy on Saturday and confirmed that Britain would provide new weapons to support Ukraine.
A reading of the appeal published by No 10 said: “The Prime Minister has confirmed that the UK is providing more defensive military aid, including protected mobility vehicles, drones and anti-tank weapons.”