Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s Solidarity Show: Electric Guitar Tribute to Ukraine’s Struggle in a Kyiv Bar

Blinken Rocks Out with ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ in Ukraine

In a show of solidarity and support, Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently performed a cover of “Rockin’ in the Free World” in a basement bar near Kyiv’s main strip. Dressed casually in a black shirt and faded jeans, Blinken played the electric guitar accompanied by a local jazz-punk band. Prior to his performance, he delivered a brief speech expressing solidarity with Ukrainians facing the challenges of Russia’s recent actions in the northeast of the country.

Addressing a crowd of Ukrainians and Americans at BarmanDictat, or the barman’s dictatorship, Blinken acknowledged the difficult circumstances being endured by soldiers and citizens in Kharkiv. He reassured the audience that Ukraine is not alone in its struggle. The gig marked the end of a busy day for the Secretary, which included meetings with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and a speech to students emphasizing U.S. support for Ukraine.

This visit to Kyiv is significant as it is the first by a senior U.S. administration official since Congress approved a $61 billion military aid package for Ukraine. The delay in providing this assistance had previously left Ukrainian troops at a disadvantage against Russian forces on the battlefield. Blinken’s musical performance generated diverse reactions among Ukrainians, with some preferring concrete actions such as the delivery of more weapons over symbolic gestures of support.

During his visit, Zelenskiy made a plea to Blinken for two Patriot air-defense batteries to protect Kharkiv from ongoing bombardment by Russian forces. The Biden administration is reportedly working on sending an additional battery to aid the defense efforts in the region. Blinken reiterated the U.S.’s commitment to Ukraine and emphasized that the fight being waged is not just for the country’s freedom, but for

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