LONDON and KYIV — President Joe Biden made an unannounced visit to war-torn Ukraine on Monday, arriving in Kyiv as the United States signals its continued support ahead of the anniversary of Russia’s invasion.
Biden’s visit takes place on the eve of a planned meeting with NATO allies in Poland. On Tuesday night, he will give a speech at the Royal Castle in Warsaw to mark the first anniversary of the Russian invasion.
His remarks in Poland are expected to gauge international support during the first year of the war, White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre said earlier this month. He will also tell “how we will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine as long as necessary,” she said.
Biden also plans to meet in Poland with leaders of the Bucharest Nine, a group of eastern NATO allies formed in 2015 in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
Ukrainian officials have accused Russia of planning “large-scale nuclear exercises” to coincide with Biden’s European visit.
Biden’s unexpected visit took place two months after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s address to Congress in Washington in December. It was Zelenskiy’s first known international trip since the invasion began in February 2022.
The Ukrainian leader demanded further US help in the fight against Russia, telling lawmakers that they could “accelerate our victory.”
“Your money is not charity. These are investments in global security and democracy, which we treat in the most responsible way,” Zielansky said at the time.
In January, Biden approved additional military aid to Ukraine, including sending 31 Abrams tanks. These weapons will help Ukraine “achieve its strategic goals,” Biden said.
Representative Nancy Pelosi, as Speaker of the House of Representatives, led a group of US lawmakers on a similar unannounced visit to Kyiv, the capital, in May 2022.
“Our delegation went to Kyiv to send an unmistakable and resounding message to the whole world: America stands firmly behind Ukraine,” she said in a statement at the time.
This is a developing story. Check for updates.
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