- President Joe Biden said he was “honored” to return to Kyiv on his surprise visit Monday.
- “Kyiv has captured a part of my heart,” Biden said in a tweet Monday morning. “I knew I would be back.”
- Biden had visited before the war, but waited almost a year to make the risky trip on Monday.
President Joe Biden said he was “honored” to return to the capital city of Ukraine after his surprise visit Monday.
“Kyiv has captured a part of my heart,” Biden said in a tweet Monday morning. “I knew I would be back.”
It was Biden’s first trip to Ukraine since Russia invaded in February 2022. He had visited before as Vice President.
In a photo of a note attached to the tweet, Biden wrote that he was “honored to be welcomed again in Kyiv to stand in solidarity and friendship with the freedom loving people of Ukraine.”
The note then addressed Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy directly.
“Mr. President,” Biden wrote, “please accept my deepest respect for your courage and leadership.”
—President Biden (@POTUS) February 20, 2023
It was revealed Monday morning that Biden had made a risky and surprising trip to the capital city of Ukraine, Insider reported, even though his aides felt the trip to Kyiv would be too dangerous as recently as this month.
The New York Times reported the president arrived in Kyiv by train on a detour from an official visit to Poland. The trip was kept a secret over security concerns, though the US tipped off Russia that Biden was coming.
Biden said in a statement the purpose of the trip was to “reaffirm our unwavering and unflagging commitment to Ukraine’s democracy, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.”
“Today, in Kyiv, I am meeting with President Zelenskyy and his team for an extended discussion on our support for Ukraine,” Biden said.
He continued: “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.”
Supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin are reportedly furious about the trip, calling it a “humiliation for Moscow,” because the White House only gave Russia “hours” notice of the visit, Insider previously reported.