US President, Joe Biden made a surprise and historic visit to war-torn Ukraine on Monday, Februry 20, in a show of support and solidarity with a democratic nation battling a Russian invasion that started nearly a year ago.
The visit, including a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, was kept under tight secrecy until Biden’s arrival.
“Unchecked aggression is a threat to all of us,” Biden said. “One year later, Kyiv stands and Ukraine stands. Democracy stands, Americans stand with you and the world stands with you.”
“Kyiv has captured a part of my heart,” he added
Even while Biden was on the ground, air raid sirens could be heard.
It is the first time in modern history that a U.S. president has entered a war zone where there is not an active American military presence. Ukrainian police and military had a strong presence and much of the central part of Kyiv was shut down, paralyzing traffic nearby.
‘’Joseph Biden, welcome to Kyiv!” Zelenskyy posted on the social media site Telegram along with a picture of the two leaders. “Your visit is an extremely important sign of support for all Ukrainians.”
Biden insisted that the U.S. will remain steadfast in its support of Ukraine.
“For all the disagreement we have in our Congress on some issues, there is significant agreement on support for Ukraine,” Biden said.
He announced an additional aid package worth $500 million, which will include more military equipment and weapons like anti-tank Javelin missiles.
Zelenskyy said that when Russia invaded, the U.S. was the first to call him in support.
Biden also recalled speaking to Zelenskyy — and the promise he made to help “rally the world” to Ukraine’s cause.
“Russian planes were in the air and tanks were rolling across your border,” Biden said. “You told me you could hear explosions in the background, I’ll never forget that. And the world was about to change. I remember it vividly.”
Zelensky’s video team is quick with a montage of today’s historic Biden visit to Kyiv. The Ukrainian president writes on Telegram: “Ukraine feels the support of the United States and President Joseph Biden personally in these difficult times of struggle. 🇺🇦🇺🇸” pic.twitter.com/YqmvwSYIvM
— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) February 20, 2023
🇺🇸🇺🇦 #Kiev stands, #Ukraine stands, democracy stands , – #Biden.
“Putin thought he would outlive us. I don’t think he continues to think so now. God alone knows what he is thinking now. He was simply wrong,” he added #Zelensky #kyiv #SlavaUkraïni pic.twitter.com/xguKSCviuX
— Feher_Junior (@Feher_Junior) February 20, 2023