HomeUS News updateBiden makes surprise visit to Ukraine nearly one year after Russia's invasion

Biden makes surprise visit to Ukraine nearly one year after Russia’s invasion

AMSTERDAM – President Joe Biden made a surprise and historic visit to war-torn Ukraine on Monday, showing support and solidarity with a democratic nation battling for survival after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion nearly a year ago.,

The trip, which included a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, was kept under tight secrecy until Biden’s arrival. White House officials were adamant that Warsaw, Poland, would be Biden’s only stop. On Friday, a White House spokesman answered with one word when asked whether Biden intended to cross the border into neighboring Ukraine: “No.”

The secretive nature of the visit points to the dangers of the US commander-in-chief visiting Ukraine amid relentless bombing, with Russia firing missiles into the country in hopes of breaking a standoff as the war enters its second year. Was doing. Air raid sirens sounded while Biden was on the ground.

It is the first time in modern history that an American president has entered a war zone that does not have an active US military presence.

Biden’s appearance in Ukraine is a strong statement that the US stands with Zelensky despite mounting pressure at home to reduce US aid.

“Joseph Biden, welcome to Kiev!” Zelensky posted a photo of the two leaders on the social media site Telegram. “Your visit is an extremely important gesture of support for all Ukrainians.”

Yet the risks are huge. Other presidents have visited war zones. Barack Obama traveled to Afghanistan in 2014 and George W Bush visited US troops in Iraq in 2003. As was the case with Biden, the two traveled under strict secrecy.

Now the enemy is Russia. If Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces intentionally target Biden, or even inadvertently harm the president via a missile, the US will be bound to retaliate. This could potentially escalate a regional war into a direct conflict between two nuclear-armed countries.

Still, ahead of the trip, some analysts were hopeful that Poland would not be Biden’s only stop. Alexander Vindman, former director of European affairs at the Donald Trump White House for National Security, said a “trip to Ukraine” would be a powerful show of support and signal a strong shift in policy — a more forward-leaning and full-fledged approach to Ukrainian support. Approach council.

Biden has invested considerable political, military and financial capital in the war, keeping Ukraine viable against larger Russian forces. In addition to US aid, he has also pressured the rest of the NATO alliance to shore up Ukraine, arguing that countering Russian aggression is imperative for the democratic world for two reasons. One is to prevent Putin from widening the war in NATO countries; Second to discourage China’s totalitarian government from launching its attacks on smaller countries like Taiwan.

The US has also begun to warn that the Chinese are providing military aid to the Russian effort and has cautioned against providing lethal aid to the country.

China has provided some extensive aid to Russia, including by manipulating Russian propaganda and promoting Russia’s false pretexts for war. But US officials say the Chinese are now providing more tangible support for Russian troops in Ukraine. The Chinese have refused to provide military assistance in the past.

Biden and Zelensky met in Washington, DC in December, when the Ukrainian president traveled to the US capital and addressed a joint session of Congress. Zelensky has only left his country since the invasion.

As the fighting escalates, Zelensky is pressing Washington for more advanced fighter jets. So far, Biden has denied concerns that the F-16 planes could escalate the conflict.

In January, Biden announced that the US would send 31 Abrams tanks, which he was initially reluctant to do. America will also give training of tanks.

Biden is also facing cross-pressure from conservative Republicans, who believe the US has already given Ukraine enough money and weapons to press for a peace deal.

US military aid to Ukraine is close to $30 billion. Polling shows that US support for Ukraine remains strong, although waning over time. In May 2022—three months after the war—60% of Americans supported arms supplies to Ukraine. By January, that number had dropped to 48%, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll released last week. The percentage of adults who favor sending taxpayer money directly to Ukraine fell seven percentage points in that time frame — from 44% to 37%.

The war has dragged on longer than the West expected, with early estimates that Ukraine would only be able to hang on for a few weeks before the Russians seized Kiev, ousted Zelensky and absorbed the country into their orbit. have done. Instead, Ukraine proved a more resilient opponent than anticipated.

A war that was expected to end early will reach its one-year anniversary on Friday with Ukraine’s surrender and Zelensky’s exile.

Peter Nicolas reported from Amsterdam and Kat Corrigan and Susan Kroll from Kiev.

Cat Corrigan And Susan Kroll Contribution,



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