Biden takes secret trip to Kyiv

On Feb. 20, President Joseph Biden secretly traveled to Ukraine. These top-secret travel plans for Biden included a plane ride on an Air-Force C-32 jet departing at 4:15 a.m. which arrived in Poland around 7:57 p.m. A motorcade then picked them up and began driving on an empty Polish highway. Biden departed a train station around 9:37 p.m. on an overnight train ride into the Ukrainian warzone.
Biden endured 10 hours of travel to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Biden entered the streets of Ukraine with Zelensky during an air-raid siren to emphasize the support the United States is willing to provide to ensure Ukraine’s independence from Russia.
Jake Sullivan, a U.S. national security advisor, joined Biden on this trip. He said U.S. officials did not inform Russian officials of Biden’s plans to travel to Kyiv but that “We did so some hours before his departure for deconfliction purposes.” He also said these travel plans “required a security, operational, and logistical effort from professionals across the U.S. government to take what was an inherently risky undertaking and make it a manageable level of risk.”

Sullivan said this trip is “not a celebration but an affirmation of commitment, of resilience of the Ukrainian people.” Biden decided the trip was worth the risk to ensure that the message was heard.
Upon his arrival, Biden expressed his excitement to have returned to Kyiv. In Mariinsky, Palace with Zelensky by his side, he said, “one year later, Kyiv stands, and Ukraine stands. Democracy stands.” Zelensky shared his appreciation for Biden’s visit and said, “thank you so much for coming, Mr. President, at [such a] huge moment for Ukraine.”

Biden did not visit Ukraine without purpose. After spending a few hours in Kyiv, he promised to release another $500 million military aid fund . This military aid included artillery ammunition, Javelin missiles and Howitzers. However, Biden did not mention the advanced arms that Ukraine was seeking. Zelensky said that he and Biden spoke of “long range weapons and weapons that may still be supplied to Ukraine, even though it wasn’t supplied before.”
Zelensky and Biden visited St. Michael’s monastery where two soldiers bearing wreaths led them along the Wall of Remembrance –– a memorial of more than 4,500 soldiers who have died since Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014.

Once Biden began his travels back to the U.S. the air-raid alarm stopped. The air-raid alarms sound daily in Ukraine; officials have been warning that Russia is planning a large-scale missile attack on the anniversary of the war this Friday.
Biden’s 40-hour trip to Kyiv was momentous, traveling under secrecy to visit Ukraine, he hopes to show Ukraine that the U.S. is willing to provide military reinforcements and support during these times of war.