US First Lady Biden makes unannounced visit to Ukraine

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US First Lady Jill Biden made an unannounced visit to Ukraine on Sunday, meeting her Ukrainian counterpart Olena Zelenska at a school sheltering civilians displaced by the war.

“I wanted to come on Mother’s Day. I thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people that this war has to stop and this war has been brutal and that the people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine,” Biden told reporters.

The 70-year-old wore a large pin in the form of the blue and yellow Ukrainian flag. She traveled to Ukraine from Slovakia as part of a regional tour that included Romania and was meant to be yet another display of American support for Ukraine and the countries assisting it in the wake of the Russian invasion.

A US official traveling with President Joe Biden’s wife also said it was Zelenska’s first public appearance since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. Zelenska thanked Biden “for this very courageous act”.

“Because we understand what it takes for the US first lady to come here during a war when the military actions are taking place every day, where the air sirens are happening every day, even today,” she told Biden. Zelenska stressed the symbolism of Biden’s Mothering Sunday visit. —APP

 

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