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US 1st lady Jill Biden pays surprise visit to Ukraine, meets Ukrainian counterpart

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

Kyiv: US First Lady Jill Biden on Sunday made an unannounced visit to Ukraine to show support to the war-torn country in its fight against Russia, reported. She also met her Ukrainian counterpart Olena Zelenska. Biden traveled under the cloak of secrecy, becoming the latest high-profile American to enter Ukraine during its 10-week-old conflict with Russia.

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“I thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people that this war has to stop and this war has been brutal and that the people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine,” she said.Earlier in the day, US First Lady had celebrated Mother’s Day in Slovakia, interacting with the Ukrainian mothers displaced due to the war. She assured them that the ‘hearts of American people’ are with them.

The first lady traveled by vehicle to the town of Uzhhorod, about a 10-minute drive from a Slovakian village that borders Ukraine. She spent about two hours in Ukraine.

“I wanted to come on Mother’s Day,” the U.S. first lady told Zelenska. “I thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people that this war has to stop and this war has been brutal and that the people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine.”

The two first ladies met in a small classroom in Uzhhorod

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Before meeting in private, the two met in a small classroom in Uzhhorod, sitting across a table from one another. According to reports, Zelenska and her children have been kept safe at an undisclosed location owing to security reasons. The school where they met has been converted into temporary accommodation for Ukrainian migrants from across the country. The US first lady was able to conduct the type of personal diplomacy that her husband would like to be conducting himself during his visit.

Two first ladies also spent time with a group of students

Following their private meeting, the two first ladies worked with a group of students from the school to make tissue-paper bears as Mother’s Day gifts. Jill Biden’s visit comes after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress visited the war-torn country earlier his month. In addition, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also visited war torn-Ukraine to meet President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and show their solidarity. It should be mentioned here that the US has continued to provide humanitarian as well as military assistance to Ukraine since Russia launched a full-fledged war on February 24.

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