Jill Biden, the US First Lady, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau entered Ukraine by surprise on Sunday. The American had a meeting with the first lady of the country, Olena Zelenskawhile the president’s visit coincided with the virtual meeting of the G7 leaders.
“I wanted to come on Mother’s Day. I thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people that this war has to end and that it has been brutal, and that the people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine,” Biden told reporters.
Jill Biden met the Ukrainian first lady at a school in Uzhhoroda city of 100,000 inhabitants a few kilometers from the border with Slovakia.
Biden and Zelenska merged into a hug, after which the American handed him a bouquet of flowers before a private meeting inside the school, turned into a temporary shelter for families fleeing war.
The population of that Ukrainian town has tripled since the start of the fighting due to internally displaced people fleeing the conflict.
Olena Zelenska, wife of the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyhas not been seen in public for security reasons since the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 24.
The two women addressed reporters after the meeting, with Zelenska thanking Jill Biden for her “courageous” visit to Ukraine.
“We understand the courage it takes for the first lady of the united states to come here during a warwith war operations every day, with air sirens being heard every day, even today,” said the hostess of the meeting.
Jill Biden visited that school to show her support for Ukraine, coinciding with the authorities’ denunciation of a Russian attack on a school in the east of the country that is feared to have left dozens dead.
Initially, Jill Biden was going to go only to a border crossing between Slovakia and Ukraine, but officials from Ukraine and the US gave the green light to cross the dividing line by evaluating the situation as safe.
Before crossing the border, Jill Biden met with refugee families at an emergency aid center in Kosice, in eastern Slovakia.
This is the last visit to Ukraine by senior US officials in recent weeks, after Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
For its part, Justin Trudeau He toured various points in Irpin accompanied by its mayor, Oleksandr Markushin, according to the Ukrainian portal Ukrinfrom.
This visit coincides with virtual meeting of the G7 leaderswhich will take place this Sunday afternoon, and in which the Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelenski, is expected to intervene.