Blinken takes anti-graft message, old Russia foe to Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Secretary of State Antony Blinken travels to Ukraine this week he’ll be carrying a tough anti-graft message and strong U.S. backing for the country’s response to Russian aggression. Blinken will also be taking along a familiar face in the Washington-Moscow tug-of-war over Ukraine: Victoria Nuland, now the No. 3 State Department official. The one-day stop comes at a time of heightened U.S. tensions with Russia. The mere presence in Kyiv of Nuland is likely to irritate Russia. Nuland is a Russia hawk who was a target of Moscow’s attacks on the U.S. during the Obama administration.