Biden makes surprise visit to Ukraine to visit Zelenskyy

Days before the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Joe Biden made an unannounced stop in the war-torn country’s capital to solidify his “unwavering and unflagging” support as the “Ohio Chernobyl” went untouched.

(Video: ABC News)

The president departed Washington, D.C. en route to meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda where corporate media correspondents dutifully awaited his arrival in Warsaw only to learn the White House had withheld Biden’s intention to travel to Ukraine. After arriving in Kyiv Monday morning, the president was shuttled to Mariinsky Palace where he was greeted by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife Olena.

In an official statement, Biden said, “As the world prepares to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, I am in Kyiv today to meet with President Zelenskyy and reaffirm our unwavering and unflagging commitment to Ukraine’s democracy, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.”

“Today, in Kyiv, I am meeting with President Zelenskyy and his team for an extended discussion on our support for Ukraine. I will announce another delivery of critical equipment, including artillery ammunition, anti-armor systems, and air surveillance radars to help protect the Ukrainian people from aerial bombardments. And I will share that later this week,” the statement continued, “we will announce additional sanctions against elites and companies that are trying to evade or backfill Russia’s war machine.”

“Over the last year, the United States has built a coalition of nations from the Atlantic to the Pacific to help defend Ukraine with unprecedented military, economic, and humanitarian support — and that support will endure,” he insisted.

Later on, the president held a joint press conference with his Ukrainian counterpart where he echoed those remarks as he reminisced about a call with Zelenskyy from one year prior, at the onset of the Russian invasion.

“You told me that you could hear explosions in the background,” Biden said to set the scene before recounting Zelenskyy’s response to his offer of help. “You said, and I quote, ‘Gather the leaders of the world. Ask them to support Ukraine.'”

Describing the belief from the time that the capital city and the nation itself could fall at the hands of Russia, Biden went on, “One year later, Kyiv stands, and Ukraine stands. Democracy stands. Americans stand with you, and the world stands with you.”

Zelenskyy posted a video of his meeting with Biden on social media and described it as, “Historic. Timely. Brave.”

The unannounced trip to pledge for more aid comes just weeks after the president ramped up support for the Ukrainian military yet again with a promise to deliver 31 M1A1 Abrams tanks along with around 500 varied armored vehicles and eight M88 recovery vehicles to support the tanks.

Biden’s trip to Europe is expected to still include a meeting with Duda as well as “leaders of our Eastern Flank Allies” with an address to “rally the world to support the people of Ukraine and the core values of human rights and dignity in the UN Charter that unite us worldwide.”

Meanwhile, the ecological disaster in East Palestine, Ohio, where a Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed at the beginning of February, has received no mention from Biden as former President Donald Trump plans to visit the area this week.



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