HomeUS News updateBiden's surprise visit to Ukraine sparks mystery then joy in Kyiv

Biden’s surprise visit to Ukraine sparks mystery then joy in Kyiv

His sentiments were echoed by officials in Kiev, who applauded Biden’s visit at a critical moment in the war.

“Your visit is an extremely important sign of the support of all Ukrainian people,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said on his Telegram channel.

The two leaders shared a hug before leaving for a walk as air raid sirens sounded, all too familiar to regular residents of the city. Still, a year ago many from Washington to Warsaw feared that by now Kiev might be in the grip of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“One year later, Kiev stands and Ukraine stands,” Biden said. “Democracy stands.”

He brought news of more military aid, a range of new aid to Ukraine, as well as an announcement of additional sanctions on Russian companies.

Andrey Ermak, the head of Zelensky’s office, described the visit as historic, but added that it was also “strategic”.

“Several issues are being resolved and those that are pending will be expedited,” he said in a Telegram post. Yermak later shared a photo of a plaque set up to mark Biden’s visit to the Walk of the Brave in Kiev’s Constitution Square, which honors leaders who have supported Ukraine since the invasion.

‘Preparing the surprise’

Kiev has seen no shortage of visiting foreign dignitaries in recent months, including the head of the European Union, two British prime ministers, French President Emmanuel Macron and other senior US officials.

But Biden’s visit is arguably the most important – a morale-boosting gesture after a difficult year of war, as Russia makes a new push on the battlefield and some Western powers show signs they are ready to push Kiev toward a peace deal. may be tempted to ,

The president was due on a scheduled trip to Europe to show solidarity with Ukraine and its neighbors, many of whom have long raised fears about Russia’s militant imperialism.

But the five-hour stopover in Kiev was conducted in the strictest secrecy.

The White House had denied any plans for the president to visit Ukraine, a risky venture given the ongoing conflict – although officials later confirmed that Russia was informed ahead of time “for adversarial purposes”. I went. There were others.

Instead the apparent presence of US military aircraft in the area, video showing a motorcyclist driving through restricted roads and news of a last-minute trip cancellation by Ukraine’s foreign minister stoked theories about what might have happened.



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