How President Biden made a secret trip to Ukraine a year after the start of the Russian war

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Whereas most of Washington was asleep, President Joe Biden arrived in Kiev at 8 a.m. native time on Monday on an in a single day practice from the neighboring nation. Poland.

The dramatic present of solidarity with Ukraine was the fruits of months of planning by a small crew of directors. A closing choice was made at an Oval Workplace assembly on Friday to go forward with a secret trip to war-torn Ukraine forward of the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion.

The historic mission concerned extraordinary dangers. Though Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama made shock visits to Afghanistan and Iraq, this was the first go to by a president to a war zone the place there was no US navy presence.

“I thought it was important that there be no doubt about US support for Ukraine in the war,” Biden mentioned at 9 a.m. native time with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who greeted him at the Mariinsky Palace half-hour earlier. Was. Official residence of the President.

Sporting the colours of Ukraine with a blue-and-yellow striped tie, Biden spent about 5 hours in Kiev earlier than departing for Poland, which White Home officers insisted final week was throughout a three-day pivot. Biden’s solely vacation spot can be Europe.

Extra: Joe Biden walks the streets of Kiev throughout a shock go to: “Americans stand with you”

President Joe Biden walks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky throughout an unannounced go to to the gold-domed St. Michael’s Cathedral in Kiev, Ukraine.

When did Biden depart for Kiev?

The secret go to started about 20 hours in the past when the president – distracted by Biden’s public schedule – arrived at Andrews Air Drive Base round 4 a.m. EST on Sunday. He boarded Air Drive One with two reporters and a small group of White Home officers, together with Nationwide Safety Advisor Jake Sullivan and Deputy Chief of Workers Jane O’Malley Dillon.

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Sullivan mentioned, “The trip from Washington was a trip of anticipation that this was a momentous moment and the President stood up to the moment and realized that he was accomplishing an important mission and he was determined to accomplish it.”

Air Drive One first landed at Ramstein Air Drive Base in Germany at 5:13 p.m. native time on Sunday night and stayed on the floor for simply over an hour earlier than taking off for Poland. Biden arrived at Rzeszow-Jecionka Airport in southeastern Poland at 7:57 p.m. native time on Sunday.

Biden’s motorcade then headed to the Przemysl Głowany practice station, the place he boarded one of eight carriages that – painted blue with a yellow stripe down the center – resembled these trains , which carried refugees from Ukraine to Poland.

President Joe Biden sits on a practice with Nationwide Safety Adviser Jake Sullivan as they depart after a shock go to by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev, Monday, Feb. 20, 2023, to mark the one-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine. Evaluate speech. (AP Photograph/Ivan Vucci, Poole) org XMIT: UAEV180

It takes Biden a 10-hour practice trip to Ukraine

Biden, a famous practice fanatic, then most likely started A very powerful trip of his life: a 10-hour journey in the center of the night time to a war-torn nation, arriving at the Kiev-Pasajhirsky practice station at 8 a.m. native time. US Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink welcomed the President.

“It’s good to be back in Kiev,” Biden mentioned after getting off the practice and making his first trip to Ukraine in six visits as vice chairman, the most up-to-date in 2017.

Extra: Biden in Ukraine: See pictures of the president in Kiev, almost a year after the Russian invasion

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For safety causes, two reporters touring with Biden – a Wall Avenue Journal pool reporter and a reporter from The Related Press – have agreed not to present real-time updates on Biden’s actions. The White Home has declined to talk about all the logistics of finishing Biden’s trip.

Even in its official tips, the White Home had claimed that Biden would depart for Poland on Monday night time.

As Biden flew throughout the Atlantic, Nationwide Safety Council spokesman John Kirby made the rounds of TV speak exhibits on Sunday morning and failed to point out that Biden can be touchdown in Ukraine the subsequent morning.

This handout picture, taken and launched by the Ukrainian presidential press service on February 20, 2023, exhibits US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visiting the golden-domed St. Michael’s Cathedral in Kiev.

US warns Russia towards journey for ‘conflicting functions’

“Thank you for coming,” Zelenskij mentioned as he greeted Biden in entrance of the palace. “This conversation brings us closer to victory.”

In joint remarks with Zelensky, Biden pledged an extra $460 million in safety help to Ukraine. A gathering happened wherein the two leaders mentioned the subsequent steps in the war, which Russian President Vladimir Putin gave no indication of an finish.

Biden and Zelensky later visited the gold-domed St. Michael’s Cathedral and spent about 10 minutes inside whereas air raid sirens sounded exterior. He then laid a wreath at the memorial wall in honor of the martyred troopers of the nation.

“A year later, Kiev stands. And Ukraine is standing. Democracy stands,” Biden mentioned.

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President Joe Biden walks off the stage after a shock go to to meet with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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After visiting the US Embassy in Kiev at 12 midday native time, Biden entered the convoy and began rolling after about 45 minutes At some unknown place. He left Kiev and returned to Poland at 22:04 native time on the similar practice that he had taken to Ukraine.

Biden then took a quick flight to Warsaw, the place he’ll meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda and ship a speech Tuesday night time marking the one-year anniversary of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The Biden-Kiev trip was “carefully planned” for months.

Sullivan mentioned Russia was knowledgeable that Biden can be touring to Kiev “a few hours before he left for conflict resolution purposes”. Sullivan didn’t present particulars of the message or Russia’s response, saying these communications had been “sensitive”.

Deputy Nationwide Safety Advisor John Finer mentioned the trip was “carefully planned over a period of months” with the involvement of the White Home, the NSC, the Pentagon, the Secret Service and intelligence companies.

Finer mentioned Biden was totally briefed on every step of the plan and any potential contingencies. He mentioned the closing choice to go to Kiev was taken on Friday in the Oval Workplace.

“Clearly all of this has been very closely worked out between the White House and the highest levels of the Ukrainian government, which are now quite adept at hosting high-level visitors, though not one of them.”

President Joe Biden, middle left, meets with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky at the Mariinsky Palace throughout an unannounced go to to Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 20, 2023.

Contribution: Related Press

Contact Joey Garrison on Twitter @joeygarrison

This text was initially printed in USA TODAY: Ukraine-Russia War: Planning Biden’s Secret Trip to Kiev


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