The White House has continued to approve financial support and the delivery of military equipment to Ukraine as that nation’s war against invading Russian troops nears the one-year mark.
This week, President Joe Biden staged a surprise trip to Ukraine’s capital city, Kyiv.
During the trip, Biden met with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The U.S. president took the opportunity to announce that America would be sending roughly $500 million more to support Ukraine’s defense.
Although Biden’s remarks were a tacit admission that there is plenty more work to be done in combating Russia’s occupation quest, he touted the bravery and resolve of the Ukrainian people.
He concluded: “One year later, Kyiv stands. And Ukraine stands. Democracy stands.”
For his part, Zelenskyy celebrated Biden’s visit as “a huge moment for Ukraine,” noting that they discussed “long-range weapons and the weapons that may still be supplied to Ukraine even though it wasn’t supplied before.”
Keeping it under wraps
So why the secrecy surrounding Biden’s visit? Even though the administration had indicated that the U.S. president would travel to Poland on or near the anniversary of Russia’s invasion (which is Friday), security concerns led the White House to keep a lid on news that Biden would actually be arriving in Kyiv.
In a statement regarding the trip, the White House called it “historic and unprecedented” for a U.S. president to visit an active war zone in a nation where American troops are not stationed.
The administration noted that Russian leaders were informed “some hours before his departure” that Biden would be making the trip, but that didn’t stop the president from issuing a harsh assessment of Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
"Russia’s aim was to wipe Ukraine off the map," he said. "Putin’s war of conquest is failing."