Joe Biden makes a surprise visit to Kyiv
US President Joe Biden paid a surprise visit to Kyiv on Monday, promising new weaponry and “unwavering” support for his Ukrainian ally, days before the first anniversary of the Russian invasion.
“I will announce the delivery of other essential equipment, including artillery ammunition, anti-armour systems and air surveillance radars”, assured the American president, according to a press release from the White House, for his first visit to Ukraine.
During a press briefing with President Volodymyr Zelensky, he mentioned $500 million in additional assistance, the details of which will be announced in the coming days.
“I thought it was essential that there be no doubt about the support of the United States for Ukraine,” he said of his visit to the capital Ukraine.
Ukraine is in dire need of long-range ammunition for its artillery and tanks to oppose a new Russian offensive and to launch its own assaults and retake the territories occupied by the Moscow army in the east and south.
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This first visit to Kyiv by Mr. Biden follows those of many European leaders in the Ukrainian capital and that of Mr. Zelensky in Washington in December.
Mr. Zelensky hailed it as an “extremely important sign of support.” He also told the press, along with the US president, that the two men wanted to discuss “how to win [the war] this year”.
According to him, US military support for Ukraine demonstrates that Russia “has no chance of winning the war.
Anti-aircraft alerts also sounded on Monday during the visit of the American president, noted AFP journalists.
Joe Biden was alongside President Zelensky , leaving a church where they had stayed for a few minutes, when the sirens sounded, without causing panic.
The American president also expressed his admiration for the resilience of the Ukrainians in the face of the invader.
Red alert in Kyiv and across Ukraine pic.twitter.com/ceFMYcZ1hU
— Liveuamap (@Liveuamap) February 20, 2023
“It’s more than heroic,” he said.
The visit of the The US president comes as Ukraine faces escalating fighting in the east of the country, with Russia hoping to break through to regain the initiative after humiliating setbacks in the fall.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to deliver an important speech Tuesday in Moscow, which is expected to be largely devoted to the war in Ukraine.
The master of the Kremlin has launched the invasion of his neighbor the February 24, 2022, claiming that Kyiv was orchestrating a genocide of Russian-speaking populations in the east and that the West wanted to use Ukrainian territory to weaken Russia.