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Biden makes surprise visit to war-torn Ukraine, promises more aid: ’World stands with you’

Visit comes as House investigates Biden's son Hunter for foreign business deals that included millions from a Ukrainian energy deal.

Published: February 20, 2023 7:33am

Updated: February 20, 2023 8:16am

President Joe Biden visited Ukraine on Monday to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky, as America continues to send billions of dollars' worth of aid and equipment to the war-torn nation fighting a Russian invasion.

Biden spent several hours in the Ukrainian capital, meeting with Zelensky at Mariinsky Palace, marking almost one year since Russian forces attempted to take over the city. At times, air-raid sirens sounded in the background.

"One year later, Kyiv stands," Biden said, according to The Associated Press. "And Ukraine stands. Democracy stands. The Americans stand with you, and the world stands with you."

In Kyiv, Biden also reportedly announced an additional half-billion dollars in U.S. financial assistance, which will also include shells for howitzers, anti-tank missiles, air surveillance radars and other aid but no new advanced weaponry.

"Our negotiations were very fruitful," Zelensky said regarding more aid from the United States.

"I thought it was critical that there not be any doubt, none whatsoever, about U.S. support for Ukraine in the war," Biden explained. "The cost that Ukraine has had to bear has been extraordinarily high. And the sacrifices have been far too great.

"We know that there’ll be very difficult days and weeks and years ahead. But Russia's aim was to wipe Ukraine off the map. Putin's war of conquest is failing."

"He's counting on us not sticking together," Biden continued, referring to Russian leader Vladimir Putin. "He thought he could outlast us. I don't think he's thinking that right now. God knows what he's thinking, but I don't think he's thinking that. But he's just been plain wrong. Plain wrong."

The visit comes as the Republican-led U.S. House investigates Biden's son Hunter for his foreign business deals, which included millions of dollars from a Ukrainian natural gas company that the State Department considered corrupt.

Zelensky expressed gratitude to Biden saying, "Ukraine is grateful to you, Mr. President, to all the U.S. citizens, to all those who cherish freedom just as we cherish them."

Biden had departed from Joint Base Andrews near Washington, D.C. around 4:15 a.m. on Sunday, making a stop at Ramstein Air Base in Germany before traveling into Ukraine, The AP reported. He arrived in Kyiv at 8 a.m. Monday. 

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