Politics U.S. Sends Secretaries Austin and Blinken to Kyiv amid Invasion in First High-Level American Visit While touting the work that had already been done, the U.S. also promised more military aid for besieged Ukraine By Virginia Chamlee Virginia Chamlee Politics Writer - PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on April 25, 2022 04:13 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos From left: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv. Photo: Ukrainian Presidential Press Off/UPI/Shutterstock Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday met with two top U.S. officials — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin — to discuss aid to the country as it continues to mount resistance to its Russia invaders. The trip marked the highest-level American visit since the Russian attack began in February, with the U.S. officially confirming the wartime meeting after it had ended and the officials were out of the country. Countries in the West — including the U.S. — have funneled military equipment to Ukraine since the invasion began two months ago, though 44-year-old Zelenskyy has requested more, including warplanes and long-range air defense systems. Prior to the meeting, Zelenskyy had said of the Americans: "You can't come to us empty-handed today, and we are expecting not just presents or some kind of cakes, we are expecting specific things and specific weapons," the Associated Press reported. Russian Troops Want to Conceal Bodies of More Than 10,000 Dead in Mariupol, Ukraine, Mayor Says Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (R) and Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) speak with reporters after returning from their trip to Kyiv, Ukraine. ALEX BRANDON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images The U.S. did deliver on specifics, with Blinken using the meeting to tell Zelenskyy that President Joe Biden had officially nominated a U.S. ambassador to Ukraine: Bridget Brink, currently the U.S. ambassador to Slovakia, is his choice to fill the vacancy left by Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who was fired by former President Donald Trump in 2019. Brink must be confirmed by the Senate before she can officially take office. Speaking to the press in Poland following the meeting with Zelenskyy this weekend, Blinken said the Ukrainian leader had "expressed deep appreciation for President Biden's leadership and for the incredible generosity and support of the American people." "In turn, we expressed deep admiration for his leadership, for the extraordinary courage of Ukrainians in standing up to and pushing back this Russian aggression," he added. While touting the work that had already been done, the U.S. also promised more military aid for the besieged country. American officials, however, have resisted Ukraine's calls to institute a so-called "no-fly zone" and block Russian aircraft and artillery over Ukraine. The White House believes such a move could escalate Russia's attack to countries beyond Ukraine. Ukrainian Presidential Press Off/UPI/Shutterstock NBC News, citing a U.S. official, reports that Blinken also told Zelenskyy this weekend that the U.S. plans to provide an additional $713 million in military financing for Ukraine and other regional partners. Those funds will be used to transition the Ukrainian military to more modern weapons. Austin added that the "very productive discussion" included talk security force assistance and training, adding that he would also be attending a session on Monday in Germany with "a number of ministers of defense and chiefs of defense ... focused on doing things to generate additional capability and capacity for the Ukrainian forces." Survivors From Besieged Ukraine City Describe the Horrors of the Invasion: 'They Destroyed Everything' The meeting comes as Russia's invasion enters its third month after Ukraine's forces proved resilient against the more powerful force. Russia launched its large-scale attack on Ukraine on Feb. 24 — the first major land conflict in Europe in decades. Details of the fighting change by the day, but thousands of civilians have already been reported dead or wounded, including children. Millions of Ukrainians have also fled, the United Nations says. The invasion, ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, has drawn condemnation around the world and increasingly severe economic sanctions against Russia. RELATED VIDEO: Missouri Mom Travels Half a World Away to Help 31 Orphans Escape from Ukraine With NATO forces massing in the region around Ukraine, various countries have also pledged aid or military support to the resistance. Putin, 69, insists Ukraine has historic ties to Russia and he is acting in the best security interests of his country. Zelenskyy has vowed not to bend. "Nobody is going to break us, we're strong, we're Ukrainians," he told the European Union in a speech in the early days of the fighting, adding, "Life will win over death. And light will win over darkness." The Russian attack on Ukraine is an evolving story, with information changing quickly. Follow PEOPLE's complete coverage of the war here, including stories from citizens on the ground and ways to help.