President Joe Biden announced new military assistance for Ukraine and incoming sanctions against Moscow, reiterating the United States’ unwavering support for the country during his surprise trip to Kyiv early Monday as he declared that Putin’s war of conquest is failing.
Praising the “heroic” fighting of Ukrainian troops, Biden said the United States would stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.
According to White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, the US President during the talks with Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky was intently focused on discussing the coming months of fighting and long-range weapons.
The White House noted that Biden would announce more military support for Ukraine and more sanctions on Russia.
Biden’s unannounced visit, the first to Ukraine since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of its neighbor nearly a year ago, is unprecedented in modern history since this is the first time a US president has visited a country at war where the critical infrastructure isn’t controlled by the US military.
Never before has an American president traveled to an active war zone anywhere in the world without a large presence of the US military.
While there had been widespread speculation that President Biden might be planning a trip to Ukraine, experts say that the visit still took everyone completely by surprise.
According to a source familiar with the events whose planning involved only a handful of people, Biden’s visit to Kyiv was reportedly planned meticulously by several offices in the White House over a period of months.
Biden arrived in Kyiv at a “critical juncture” in the war – a day before the planned major address by Russian President Vladimir Putin – expected to set out Russia’s aims for the second year of the invasion- and as Moscow prepares for a spring offensive whereas Kyiv hopes to retake its territory Russia seized over the past year.
As Moscow hurls thousands of conscripts and mercenaries into a winter offensive, the anniversary of the invasion Putin launched on February 24 of last year is taking on more than symbolic significance, becoming the motivation for the war’s deadliest phase.