What to know about President Biden’s trip to Ukraine
US President Joe Biden is in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, days before the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion. What you need to know about this trip.
President Biden arrived in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, on Monday, 20 February, “as the world prepares to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s brutal invasion,” says the White House.
The US has been a major backer of the Ukrainian offensive against Russia, supplying the country with weapons, intelligence, and forms of support.
During the trip, President Biden will meet with President Zelenskyy and plans to “reaffirm our unwavering and unflagging commitment to Ukraine’s democracy, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.”
How long will President Biden be in Ukraine?
The previously undisclosed trip to Ukraine by President Biden will likely be short, after which he will remain in Europe to discuss the security situation with allies, including Polish President Duda.
There are many security risks in sending a head of state to an active war zone, and Ukraine is no different. Likely, by this evening, President Biden will have departed Ukraine but will stay in the region to continue talks with European allies.
Vice President Kamala Harris has also traveled to Europe and this weekend met with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, where the two discussed the Russian invasion and how the two countries could tred a “path forward in [their] united response to ensure Ukraine has what it needs on the battlefield.”
Nearly one year has passed since the invasion
Ukraine stands in a very different position than it was this time last year.
Millions of Ukrainians have fled to Europe, and millions more are internally displaced because of the violence that has engulfed some eastern regions of the country. Thousands of soldiers and civilians have lost their lives, and many more have suffered injuries.
President Biden hopes his trip sends a message to Russian president Vladimir Putin, showing the brutal leader that while “he thought Ukraine was weak and the West was divided [...], he was dead wrong.”
As the call by EU citizens for peace grows louder, their governments, in partnership with the United States, recently announced another military aid package.
During this trip, President Biden 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.” As a part of the economic war launched by the West against Russia, the US leader also said that “additional sanctions against elites and companies that are trying to evade or backfill Russia’s war machine” would be imposed.
Over the summer, the US media reported on the achievements of the Ukrainian army in defending their territory. Today, the situation on the ground is much harder to read, but very few signs point towards a stable peace in the near future.