First Lady Jill Biden became the most high-profile US delegate to visit wartime Ukraine when she made a surprise visit to the country’s western region on Sunday.
The visit was not pre-announced by the White House and comes as Joe Biden himself faced questions about following a visit to the country by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“I felt it was important to show the Ukrainian people that this war must stop and that this war was brutal and that the people of the United States stand behind the people of Ukraine,” said Dr. biden
dr Biden met with Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska in the western Ukrainian city of Uzhhorod. Journalists from the White House pool accompanied her on the trip and took pictures of her meeting with the wife of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who herself has been in hiding since the Russian invasion began. United Nations officials were also present, according to pool photos.
The First Lady of Ukraine thanked her for the visit in a brief statement shared with Pool reporters: “We understand what it takes for the First Lady of the US to come here during a war where military action is taking place every day, where the Air sirens happened every day, even today.”
Western Ukraine continues to be ravaged by Russian airstrikes as the bulk of Ukraine’s fighting has shifted east, particularly around Mariupol, where Russian forces appear to be on the verge of gaining complete control of the city. This would mark Russia’s first capture of a major civilian center since the war began, and its military failed to encircle and defeat Kyiv.
dr Biden met with Ukrainian mothers and children during her visit, offered shows of US support and told some that “the hearts of the American people are with the mothers of Ukraine,” according to PBS.
Her Mother’s Day visit followed similar trips by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a congressional delegation, and senior Defense Department officials including Secretary of State Lloyd Austin.
The Biden administration has continued a campaign of unreserved support for Ukraine, and some militant members of the President’s party have even begun to claim that the US is now embroiled in a “proxy” war with Russia.
“We’re not just at war to help Ukraine, but basically, albeit somewhat by proxy, at war with Russia,” MP Seth Moulton said last week.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/jill-biden-ukraine-visit-unannounced-b2074152.html Jill Biden makes an unannounced visit to Ukraine