President Biden made a surprise visit to Kyiv on Monday, where he met with President Zelensky at Mariinsky Palace ahead of the one-year anniversary of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
At 8 AM local time Biden arrived in Kyiv, donning a blue suit with a blue and yellow striped tie.“It’s good to be back in Kyiv,” Biden declared as he was greeted upon arrival by Ambassador Bridget Brink. Upon his arrival in Kyiv, President Biden departed for Mariinsky Palace where he was greeted outside by President Zelenskyy.
At 8:30 AM local time, the presidential motorcade arrived at Mariinsky Palace , where he was greeted at the entrance outside by Zelenskyy and his wife, Olena Zelenska. Zelenskyy was dressed in his signature black sweatshirt with dark green pants and beige boots.
At Mariinsky Palace, Biden and Zelenskyy met privately for a few moments before posing for a photo opp upstairs in the White Hall.
In joint remarks with Zelenskyy at the palace, Biden announced half a billion dollars of additional assistance to Ukraine and said more details would be released in the coming days. Biden said the package would also include more military equipment, including artillery ammunition, more javelins, and Howitzers, but he did not appear to name any new types of equipment that Ukraine has not received before. Biden also said additional sanctions will be announced this week.
Zelenskyy said he and Biden spoke about “long range weapons and the weapons that may still be supplied to Ukraine even though it wasn’t supplied before.” But he did not detail any new commitments.
Biden’s remarks focused on the resilience of the Ukrainian resistance as the war enters its second year, noting how the international community initially feared Kyiv would fall in the face of Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion.
“One year later, Kyiv stands. And Ukraine stands. Democracy stands,” Biden said.
Biden emphasized there was broad, bipartisan support in Washington for the Ukrainian cause.
“For all the disagreement we have in our Congress on some issues, there is significant agreement on support for Ukraine,” he said.
“Russia’s aim was to wipe Ukraine off the map,” Biden said. “Putin’s war of conquest is failing.”
He noted Russian military has lost half the territory it once occupied and that people were fleeing both from the Russian military and from Russia itself “because they see no future in their country.”
Russia’s economy is “isolated and struggling,” Biden said.
“Putin thought Ukraine was weak and the West was divided,” he added. “He thought he could outlast us. I don’t think he’s thinking that right now.”
“He’s just been plain wrong,” Biden said of Putin. “One year later, the evidence is right here in this room. We stand here together.”
At 12 PM local time President Biden arrived at the US Embassy in Kyiv.
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