President Biden makes surprise visit to Kyiv

Joe Biden, Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Posted at 5:20 AM, Feb 20, 2023

As the war in Ukraine beings its second year, President Joe Biden made an unannounced visit to Kyiv on Monday to show his continuing support for Ukraine.

President Biden’s visit lasted for nearly five hours and included a bilateral meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

President Biden is in Eastern Europe to meet with other NATO allies. He is scheduled for a number of bilateral meetings in Poland on Tuesday and Wednesday.

During his visit to Kyiv, he recounted his first conversation with Zelenskyy when the war began last year.

“You told me that you could hear explosions in the background,” Biden said. “I’ll never forget that.”

Zelenskyy thanked Biden for his visit and support.

“This conversation brings us closer to the victory,” Zelensky said. “Today, our negotiations were very fruitful.”

Although Ukraine forces have pushed Russian troops back in recent months, Russia has lobbed missiles deep into Ukraine, cutting off power and infrastructure at times. Even during Biden’s visit, air raid sirens could be heard.

Despite the unannounced visit to Ukraine, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Russia was aware of Biden's trip hours before he landed.

"We did notify the Russians that President Biden will be traveling to Kyiv some hours before his departure for deconfliction purposes," Sullivan said. "And because of the sensitive nature of those communications, I won't get into how they responded or what the precise nature of our message was, but I can confirm that we provided that notice."