When it was announced last week that President Joe Biden was making a trip to Poland, many speculated whether that might include a side-trip to Ukraine. It turns out that is exactly what was planned. President Biden shoed up in Kiev this morning just days ahead of the anniversary of Russia’s invasion side by side with President Zelenski, promising another $500 million in security aid the embattled nation. At a press briefing in Washington reporters were told President Putin was given a heads-up about the trip for what officials called “de-confliction purposes.”. Nonetheless, an air raid siren was sounding as Biden and Zelenski stepped into a public square in Kiev, although noting else ensued.
“One year later, Kyiv stands, Ukraine stands, Democracy stands,” Biden said after meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at Mariinsky Palace in the heart of the capital. “The Americans stand with you and the world stands with you.”
Biden said in a statement, “when Putin launched his invasion nearly one year ago, he thought Ukraine was weak and the West was divided. He thought he could outlast us. But he was dead wrong.
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, we will announce additional sanctions against elites and companies that are trying to evade or backfill Russia’s war machine.”
The Associated Press reported Biden quietly departed from Joint Base Andrews near Washington at 4:15 a.m. on Sunday, making a stop at Ramstein Air Base in Germany before making his way into Ukraine. He arrived in Kyiv at 8 a.m. on Monday. He departed after 1 p.m.
Officials conducting a news briefing in Washington stressed the fact that it was the first time a US president had visited a war zone where the US had no troops on the ground to provide security, Biden travelled with a small entourage that included security and two pool reporters.
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