Well, President Biden has really done it: while on a trip to Europe, he crossed the border and visited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev. Mario Nawfal, tweeting an announcement about the visit, said “🚨#BREAKING: President Biden has made a surprise visit to Kyiv Ukraine to have a talk with president Zelenskiy as Biden has announced $500 million of additional assistance to Ukraine. As this is ahead of the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with air raid sirens sounding off.”
Here’s the video of Biden and his surprise visit to the war zone:
🚨#BREAKING: President Biden has made a surprise visit to Kyiv Ukraine to have a talk with president Zelenskiy as Biden has announced $500 million of additional assistance to Ukraine. As this is ahead of the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of pic.twitter.com/w1Zw0OCQiy… https://t.co/z2oPE3Szxf
— Mario Nawfal (@MarioNawfal) February 20, 2023
The Associated Press, reporting on what the two discussed during the visit and how the White House worked with the Russian Federation to “ensure deconfliction”, said:
Biden spent more than five hours in the Ukrainian capital, meeting Zelenskyy at Mariinsky Palace, honoring the country’s fallen soldiers and meeting with U.S. embassy staff in the war-torn country. In his remarks with Zelenskyy, Biden recalled the fears nearly a year ago that Russia’s invasion forces might quickly take city. “One year later, Kyiv stands,” Biden said, jamming his finger for emphasis on his podium decorated with the U.S. and Ukrainian flags. “And Ukraine stands. Democracy stands. The Americans stand with you, and the world stands with you.”
[…]In Kyiv, Biden announced an additional half-billion dollars in U.S. assistance — on top of the more than $50 billion already provided — including shells for howitzers, anti-tank missiles, air surveillance radars and other aid but no new advanced weaponry.
[…]Biden’s mission with his visit to Kyiv, which comes ahead of a scheduled trip to Warsaw, Poland, is to underscore that the United States is prepared to stick with Ukraine “as long as it takes” to repel Russian forces even as public opinion polling suggests that U.S. and allied support for providing weaponry and direct economic assistance has started to soften. For Zelenskyy, the symbolism of having the U.S. president stand side by side with him on Ukrainian land as the anniversary nears is no small thing as he prods the U.S. and European allies to provide more advanced weaponry and to step up the pace of delivery.
[…]Though Western surface-to-air missile systems have bolstered Ukraine’s defensives, the visit marked the rare occasion when a U.S. president has traveled to a conflict zone where the U.S. or its allies did not have control over the airspace. The White House would not go into specifics but said that “basic communication with the Russians occurred to ensure deconfliction” shortly before Biden’s visit in an effort to avoid any miscalculation that could bring the two nuclear-armed nations into direct conflict.
Team Biden released a statement on the visit from the White House Briefing Room, saying:
As the world prepares to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, I am in Kyiv today to meet with President Zelenskyy and reaffirm our unwavering and unflagging commitment to Ukraine’s democracy, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
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. Over the last year, the United States has built a coalition of nations from the Atlantic to the Pacific to help defend Ukraine with unprecedented military, economic, and humanitarian support – and that support will endure.
I also look forward to traveling on to Poland to meet President Duda and the leaders of our Eastern Flank Allies, as well as deliver remarks on how the United States will continue to rally the world to support the people of Ukraine and the core values of human rights and dignity in the UN Charter that unite us worldwide.
Biden’s visit stands in contrast to what Biden National Security spokesman John Kirby said when speaking on MSNBC’s “The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart.” Speaking to Capehart about Biden’s plans for his trip to Europe, Kirby said:
“We obviously are maintaining a high degree of solidarity with the Ukrainian people. The United States leads the world in terms of contributions, whether it’s humanitarian assistance or military weapons to Ukraine, and we’re going to continue to use our convening power, to marshall the world, to galvanize support for Ukraine, but there are no plans for the president to enter Ukraine on this trip.”
"There are no plans for the President to enter into Ukraine on this particular trip." National Security Council spokesman John Kirby tells @CapehartJ about the President's trip to Eastern Europe #SundayShow pic.twitter.com/6TzHWhm2tb
— The Saturday/Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart (@weekendcapehart) February 19, 2023
In visiting the Ukraine, Biden has likely pushed the US even closer to war with Russia, a nuclear-armed power. How would we have reacted if Putin had visited Saddam Hussein during Desert Storm or the 2003 invasion? Even if not intentional, isn’t it possible a stray bomb, shell, or rocket could have hit him and sparked war? The visit was reckless and gets us ever closer to nuclear war for no good reason.
By: Will Tanner. Follow me on Twitter @Will_Tanner_1
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