Ukraine update: Biden arrives in Kyiv for unannounced visit to reaffirm US support

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


President Biden arrived in Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv Monday morning in an unannounced visit just days ahead of the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The trip was Biden’s first to Ukraine since the war began, though U.S. lawmakers and leaders from other countries have made frequent appearances in Kyiv.

Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a closed-door meeting at Mariinsky Palace, after which Biden delivered remarks assuring Ukraine of continued U.S. support and announced an additional $500 million in assistance, The Associated Press reported. He also said that new sanctions against Russia will be announced in the coming days, per Reuters.

President Zelenskyy told reporters that he and Biden had discussed future weapons deliveries, including “long range weapons and the weapons that may be supplied to Ukraine even though it wasn’t supplied before,” without specifying what those weapons may include. Zelenskyy has repeatedly called on Washington to supply Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets. 

During his speech, President Biden recalled the Feb. 24 invasion and fears that Russia would seize Kyiv and topple Ukraine’s government. 

“One year later, Kyiv stands,” Biden said, jabbing his finger into the air in what has become his characteristic gesture of adding emphasis to his words. “Ukraine stands. Democracy stands. The Americans stand with you and the world stands with you,” he continued, adding: “I thought it was critical that there not be any doubt, none whatsoever, about U.S. support for Ukraine in the war.”

He finished his speech by stating that the U.S. would stand by Ukraine for “as long as it takes.”


Biden’s comments come at a time when Americans have begun to show signs of flagging support for U.S. involvement in the grinding war.

The presidents unscheduled stop in Kyiv comes ahead of a previously announced trip to Warsaw. The secret service took extreme measures, including providing a vague presidential itinerary to the press to keep Biden’s visit to Ukraine a secret. 

Following the joint press briefing, both leaders visited the Wall of Remembrance, seemingly unperturbed by the blare of air sirens, where they laid a wreath honoring Ukrainian soldiers who sacrificed their lives.

Many conservatives were quick to point out that the timing of Biden’s visit to Ukraine was insulting,” as he has yet to visit the site of East Palestine, Ohio where residents are dealing with the ecological fallout of hazardous materials being spilled from a massive train derailment earlier this month.

It also followed remarks made by Vice President Kamala Harris at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday in which she formally declared that Russia had committed war crimes in Ukraine.

The U.S. State Department made the official determination following a months-long legal analysis of evidence of more than 30,000 documented war crimes perpetrated by Russia against the people of Ukraine, FISM’s Lauren C. Moye reported on Saturday.

While the official determination does not carry with it any legal consequences, Moye noted that Washington hopes the declaration will prompt other leaders to follow suit in an effort to further isolate Russian President Vladimir Putin and encourage international courts to hold the Kremlin accountable for its unprovoked invasion. 


Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that it would be a “serious problem” if China were to provide arms and ammunition to Russia in its war on Ukraine. 

Blinken made the remarks in an interview Sunday, a day after he met with Wang Yi, Beijing’s most senior foreign policy official, on the sidelines of the Munich conference. 

Blinken said U.S. intelligence suggests that the Chinese Communist Party has been in talks with Russia to potentially supply it with ammunition and weapons.

“We’ve been watching this very, very closely. And, for the most part, China has been engaged in providing rhetorical, political, diplomatic support to Russia, but we have information that gives us concern that they are considering providing lethal support to Russia in the war against Ukraine,” Blinken said, adding that warned Wang against such a move when they met.

“It was important for me to share very clearly with Wang Yi that this would be a serious problem,” Blinken said, making a pointed reference to the “no limits” agreement entered into between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping weeks before the invasion.

Blinken’s remarks came amid heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing over a downed Chinese surveillance craft shot down off the coast of South Carolina this month, which China maintains was merely a weather balloon that drifted into U.S. airspace. The White House admitted last week that three additional objects subsequently shot down by U.S. fighter jets were likely “benign” commercial or hobbyist balloons.

Wang mocked the U.S. for what he called “hysterical” behavior and condemned Washington’s decision to down its “weather balloon” as a violation of international norms.