President Biden departed from Joint Base Andrews in Prince George’s County, Maryland, early Sunday morning. He stopped at Ramstein Air Base in Germany before making an unannounced visit to Ukraine on Monday morning. The visit comes ahead of the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Biden’s visit comes as Russia prepares for a massive spring offensive. Western countries are racing to flood Ukraine with new weaponry, including main battle tanks and armored vehicles. Biden delivered remarks alongside President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at Mariinsky Palace in Kyiv and announced new military aid worth $500 million, according to AP News. The new military aid includes anti-tank missiles, air-surveillance radars, howitzers, shells, ammunition and other support, but no new advanced weaponry.
“I thought it was critical that there not be any doubt, none whatsoever, about US support for Ukraine in the war,” Biden said in joint remarks with Zelenskyy. He said, “I’m here to show our unwavering support for the nation’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.”
Zelenskyy thanked Biden for coming to Kyiv “at a huge moment for Ukraine.” He said he and the US president would hold talks about the war and what’s happening on the frontlines and also “about the people, about Ukrainians, about Americans . . . what we have to do to stop the war, to have success in this war . . . and how to win this year”.
Biden said, “I am meeting with President Zelenskyy and his team for an extended discussion on our support for Ukraine.” He added that Russian President Vladimir Putin was “dead wrong,” believing he could instantly take Ukraine during the invasion nearly one year ago.
“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 continued.
Biden also said, “We will announce additional sanctions against elites and companies that are trying to evade or backfill Russia’s war machine.”
The president’s social media team was busy tweeting this morning.