Joe Biden’s historic visit to Ukraine

President Biden has made an unannounced visit to Ukraine, the first since the war started. The surprise visit came as support ahead of the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion, on 24 February.

“Joseph Biden, welcome to Kyiv! Your visit is an extremely important sign of support for all Ukrainians,” Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy posted on social media today morning.

During the talks, Biden condemned “Putin’s war of conquest,” which he said “is failing. Putin thought Ukraine was weak and the West was divided. He thought he could outlast us. I don’t think he’s thinking that right now. He’s just been plain wrong,” Biden noted: “one year later, the evidence is right here in this room. We stand here together.” He also promised Ukraine a military aid package worth $500 million (€468 million) and further sanctions against Russia. According to the Pentagon, since the beginning of the war US has provided or pledged military aid to Ukraine of about $30 billion.

The visit was mostly praised, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who said Biden’s trip was “the victory of Ukrainian people and President Zelenskyy. It has been conducted in spite of everything for the sake of Ukraine’s victory and all the free world. It is a clear signal to the swamp — no one is afraid of you!”

Meanwhile, the former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev criticised Biden’s visit, saying on Telegram: “Biden, having received security guarantees in advance, finally went to Kyiv. And of course, there were mutual incantations about the victory that would come with new weapons and a courageous people. And here it is important to note that the West already delivers weapons and money to Kyiv quite regularly. In huge quantities, allowing the military-industrial complex of NATO countries to earn money and steal weapons to sell to terrorists around the world.”