May 29, 2022

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First lady Jill Biden makes unannounced trip to Ukraine

At a converted school that now serves as temporary housing for displaced citizens, Biden met with Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska, who has not been seen in public since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
Jill Biden is the latest high-profile American and the first family member of President Joe Biden to visit the war-torn country in recent weeks.
The stop came as the first lady was traveling to Romania and Slovakia for a high-profile diplomatic trip to reaffirm the US’ commitment to Ukraine more than two months after Russia’s invasion.
The first lady was expected to spend Sunday in Slovakia with Ukrainian families displaced by the Russian invasion. She has also met with US service members, embassy personnel, humanitarian aid workers and educators on the trip.
A number of top US officials — including Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — have traveled to Kyiv in recent weeks to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. President Biden has not traveled to Ukraine but in March visited Rzeszow, Poland, which is close to Ukraine’s border.
During that trip, the President said he would have liked to have visited Ukraine but was not able to due to security concerns. In the weeks since that trip, White House officials have said repeatedly that there are no plans for the President to travel to Ukraine because of the amount of security and planning that go into a presidential trip to a war zone.
Other world leaders have made the trip to Ukraine. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Zelensky in Kyiv last month and other European leaders have also traveled to the Ukrainian capital.
The first lady’s trip comes as the President is poised to announce another security assistance package to Ukraine that is expected to total more than $100 million.
The President last week proposed a new $33 billion supplemental funding package to support Ukraine. The US has made it clear it intends to provide long-term support to Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion and has already provided the nation with billions of dollars in military and humanitarian assistance.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.