Joe Biden makes surprise visit to war-hit Ukraine
New Delhi : The United States President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to war-hit Ukraine at a time when the world is preparing to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. POTUS met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and took a walk to a gold-domed cathedral in Kyiv.
"Last year when Russia invaded Ukraine, they thought it is a weak nation and the West is divided. Russia thought they can outlast Ukraine, but he was dead wrong," Joe Biden said in a statement.
"In the last three quarters of a century, this is the largest land war in Europe, and Ukraine has succeeded against all odds and every expectation. We have confidence that Ukraine is going to prevail," Biden told Zelenskyy.
Zelenskyy calls it "most important visit"
Zelenskyy reacted to Joe Biden's visit and called it "the most important visit" of the whole history of Ukraine-US relationship.
"This is a time which is turning out to be the difficult for Ukraine when the nation is fighting for its own liberty, for the liberties of the world," Zelenskyy said.
He also hoped that 2023 will be "the year of victory." He said that this unprovoked and criminal Russia’s war against Ukraine must end with liberating the whole country from Russia’s occupation and guarantee for a long term security for Ukraine.
Joe Biden's secret visit to Ukraine
The visit was not random, it was planned for months before Joe Biden took the flight to Ukraine. The White House announced that Biden on Friday decided to go to Ukraine after months of planning.
According to an official statement by White House, Joe Biden first went to Joint Base Andrews outside of Washington. Then he departed at 4:15 AM on Sunday aboard on Air Force jet, accompanied by handful of aides.
Biden took only one reporter and Photographer along with him. He then took an overnight flight to Germany airbase, where his plane was refuelled before he flew to Rzeszow in Southeastern Poland.
After a one-hour drive, the US President arrived in Przemysl, a city along the Poland-Ukraine border.
He then boarded a train with a heavy security presence on board and traveled 10 hours to Kyiv.
US informed Russia about the visit
The US has claimed that they had informed Russian officials about the surprise visit to Kyiv. However, the information was given just hours before his departure for Ukraine.