International

Ukraine: US President Joe Biden Arrives In Kyiv On Unannounced Visit, Meets President Zelenskyy

US President Joe Biden said the visit to Ukrainian capital Kyiv reaffirms 'unwavering and unflagging commitment to Ukraine’s democracy, sovereignty, and territorial integrity'.

US President Joe Biden with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Ukrainian capital Kyiv.
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Days before the first anniversary of the Ukraine War, US President Joe Biden on Monday arrived in Ukrainian capital Kyiv and met President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. 

This is Biden's first visit to Kyiv since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, dubbed as "special military operation". 

Biden's arrival in Ukraine was unannounced. The visit was kept under wraps over security concerns. In footage from Kyiv, Biden is seen with Zelenskyy in Kyiv amid air raid sirens. 

The visit demonstrates the continuous support to Ukraine against the Putin's invasion, said Biden in a statement released by White House. He said the visit reaffirms "unwavering and unflagging commitment to Ukraine’s democracy, sovereignty, and territorial integrity".

Biden said that he would make announcement for further weaponnry and equipment to Ukraine and the United States would slap further sanctions on Russia later this week to break its war machine.

Biden said, "When Putin launched his invasion nearly one year ago, he thought Ukraine was weak and the West was divided. He thought he could outlast us. But he was dead wrong.

"Today, in Kyiv, I am meeting with President Zelenskyy and his team for an extended discussion on our support for Ukraine. I will announce another delivery of critical equipment, including artillery ammunition, anti-armor systems, and air surveillance radars to help protect the Ukrainian people from aerial bombardments. And I will share that later this week, we will announce additional sanctions against elites and companies that are trying to evade or backfill Russia’s war machine."

The aerial radars are key as Russian missiles and drones have caused widespread devastation across Ukraine. Russian strikes have taken out up to the half of all Ukrainian energy infrastructure and large parts of the country have suffered power and water shortages over the past year.   

The New York Times reported that the visit was kept under wraps because of security concerns. 

Notably, Biden did not arrive in Kyiv in US Air Force Once —the US presidential plane— but in a train that he boarded from Poland, according to The Times.

The Times reported, "The visit to Kyiv was conducted covertly because of security concerns, with Mr. Biden departing Washington without notice after he and his wife had a rare dinner out at a restaurant on Saturday night. Biden had already been publicly scheduled to arrive in Warsaw on Tuesday morning for a two-day visit, and officials had repeatedly denied that there were any other plans they could announce about a trip to Ukraine while he was there."

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