Blinken Criticized For Playing Guitar In Kyiv Bar

( – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has come under fire for playing guitar at a Kyiv bar. Mr. Blinken took to the stage in the Barman Dictat cocktail venue in central Kyiv during a brief visit to war-torn Ukraine, performing Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World.” Come critics have labeled the performance inappropriate, despite his comments that the song was dedicated to Ukrainian troops and the Ukrainian people.

Secretary Blinken told his audience that the nation’s citizens and soldiers suffered tremendously, particularly in the northeast Kharkiv region. He added that the United States stands with them and will help them fight for a “free world.”

Svitlana Matviyenko of the NGO Agency for Legislative Initiatives was unimpressed and made her feelings known on Facebook. “Kharkiv region is being wiped from the Earth,” she wrote, “and a US top official is singing songs.”

A military vet who lost both legs agreed with Matviyenko and called Blinken’s performance “as inappropriate as possible.”

Images of the Secretary of State singing and playing guitar soon flooded the internet, eliciting a mixed reaction. The band, 19.99, was told they would have a special guest performing with them, but the identity remained secret until the last minute. Mr. Blinken chose the song. 19.99 guitarist Arsen Gorbach praised the Secretary, saying he was an outstanding performance partner, and it felt like they had been playing together for years.

In the less jovial setting of Kharkiv, Russian forces advanced on May 13, with Moscow boasting of its most significant breakthrough since the conflict began. Much of the fighting has taken place in the town of Vovchansk, which was surrounded by Russian troops and the scene of heavy gunfire.

Ukraine’s general staff announced the deployment of extra Ukrainian troops and resources to the territory amid news that Russians had seized control of three villages in the Kharkiv area. Kharkiv’s governor, Oleh Syniehubov, warned that the conflict could spread to more and more villages across the region.

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