In a move sure to make heads explode from D.C. to Moscow, President Biden has diverted from his planned state visit to Poland set for today and tomorrow to make a completely unannounced call on President Zelenskyy in embattled Kyiv, Ukraine.
This is indeed an historic occasion. While President George W. Bush visited Iraq in 2003, and Obama traveled to Afghanistan in 2014, this is the first time, in my estimation, that an American President has set foot in a nation involved in a war in which the U.S. is not directly a combatant, and where their enemy has landed missile strikes as recently as earlier this week.
“WARSAW — President Joe Biden made a surprise and historic visit to war-torn Ukraine on Monday, a show of support and solidarity with a democratic nation battling for its survival after Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded nearly a year ago.
The visit, including a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, was kept under tight secrecy until Biden’s arrival.
“Unchecked aggression is a threat to all of us,” Biden said. “One year later, Kyiv stands and Ukraine stands. Democracy stands, Americans stand with you and the world stands with you.”
“Kyiv has captured a part of my heart,” he added.”
As it has mine, Mr. President and those of many of our fellow countrymen.
Still, there is significant opposition to our support of Ukraine, especially among House Republicans, who complain about the cost of financial and military aide to Kyiv ahead of anticipated battles of our own over raising the debt ceiling.
Perhaps this is why Biden has decided to make his unequivocal support clear ahead of his trip to Warsaw.
“Biden’s appearance in Ukraine is a strong statement that the U.S. stands with Zelenskyy despite growing pressure at home to downsize American aid.
“Joseph Biden, welcome to Kyiv!” Zelenskyy posted on the social media site Telegram along with a picture of the two leaders. “Your visit is an extremely important sign of support for all Ukrainians.”
Biden visited the Mariinsky Palace, where he signed a guest book and made brief remarks alongside Zelenskyy.
Biden insisted that the U.S. will remain steadfast in its support of Ukraine.
“For all the disagreement we have in our Congress on some issues, there is significant agreement on support for Ukraine,” Biden said.“
The President is likely wheels up and safely on his way to Poland as I write this, but one cannot deny the physical and political courage it took for him to go to Ukraine and show his personal support for President Zelenskyy and his people.
Perhaps this tweet from the Minister of Internal Affairs for Ukraine sums up the reaction from the Ukrainian people to the President’s visit best:
President Biden in Kyiv. It is an act of incredible bravery.
It is strong symbol of support and friendship.
It is a direct and very clear signal for Putin.
Ukraine will win!
Sincere admiration and gratitude from all Ukrainians! pic.twitter.com/WExU3QGrIb
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) February 20, 2023
I hope and pray this war is over soon and that Ukraine wins. Not only wins, but kicks Russia completely out of their country.
Your comment about heads exploding is spot-on. Some of the usual asshats in the GOP House caucus, as well as (who else?) Don Jr. have already hurled insults and bullshit. And that I’m sure is them merely sharting out of their mouths to clear their throats before projectile vomiting a steady stream of toxic bullshit! As soon as I saw the news of Biden’s visit to Kyiv I was filled with admiration, and pride that we had a President who was savvy enough to go there to mark the anniversary of Putin’s war on Ukraine and freedom. You know who’s blood really started boiling? Ole Vlad himself!
They never said a word about the GOP congresspeople going to Moscow for the 4th of July.
Yes, the 4TH OF JULY, now for republicans, Dependence Day.
I saw a talking head on Katy Tur’s show a little while ago and he spoke of the different audiences the visit spoke to. What stood out was him so brilliantly noting the bluntness of the message to one audience. As in the message to Putin (and Putin’s people & Russians in general will take note) was “I’M here and YOU’RE not! The talking head went on to note that a year ago when the war began few would have predicted that now we’d see the American President walking the streets of Kyiv with Zelinsky instead of Putin having long ago walked them with whomever he’d put in to run the place.
You know what? At some point if before this war is over Biden is talking privately with Putin I can easily imagine him making the point – sort of “When your troops invaded you thought you’d be in Kyiv in a few days or so. But a year later while you were hiding away in your palace and keeping even staff and aides way beyond arm’s length I was walking the streets of Kyiv with their elected leader. So take your huffing and puffing about what a badass you are and shove it where the sun don’t shine – like in your hidey hole in Russia surrounded by your modern Pratorian Guard because you can’t trust anyone else…and probably lose sleep at night worrying about them!”