President Joe Biden paid an unexpected visit to Kyiv on Monday to express his unyielding commitment to Ukraine.
The press moment was choreographed with great care, requiring extensive security and secrecy. The one-day trip was a logistical nightmare, and it took Biden ten hours to travel by train through Ukraine.
During his visit, he toured Kyiv’s sights with President Volodymyr Zelensky to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Russia’s lethal invasion.
During the trip, Biden pledged half a billion dollars in funding for Ukraine’s war efforts, including long-range weapons and ammunition.
Over 7.5 million Ukrainians have been displaced and living overseas since the invasion began on Feb. 24, 2022. Last November, the Biden administration estimated that over 100,000 people had been killed on both the Russian and Ukrainian sides.
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.— President Biden (@POTUS) February 20, 2023
Only a few White House officials knew about the trip’s planning, with two reporters given instructions to refer to the trip as a golf tournament. According to the White House Communication Director, Kate Bedingfield, the trip was “logistically complicated and difficult,” but it sends a strong message that the United States is committed to standing by the Ukrainian people.