First lady Jill Biden made a surprise visit to Ukraine this Sunday marking a rare solo as the spouse of a sitting president to visit an active war zone.
Fox News reported that the first lady entered Ukraine by crossing the border from Slovakia on Sunday morning after visiting with Ukrainian refugees at a processing center. Reportedly, she met with Ukrainian first lady Olen Zelenska. The Ukrainian first lady has not been seen in public since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Mrs. Biden said, “I wanted to come on Mother’s Day. I thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people that this war has to stop and this war has been brutal and that the people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine.”
Zelenska praised her American counterpart for making a “courageous trip” which reportedly occurred as an impromptu stop on the U.S. first lady’s four-day trip to Eastern Europe without her husband.
The first ladies met in a small classroom in front of reporters before holding a private meeting. Zelenska and her children have reportedly remained in an undisclosed location due to safety concerns as Russian officials made it an early priority of their invasion to assassinate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and members of his family.
The two women later joined a group of children who live at the school where they met in making tissue-paper bears to give as Mother’s Day gifts.
The first lady’s visit to Ukraine marks the third high profile meeting between U.S. and Ukrainian officials.
In late April U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met with Zelenskyy to discuss the U.S. federal government’s role in providing the Ukrainian military with more than $300 million in financing. And in early May, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi along with the Democratic U.S. Reps. Jason Crow of Colorado, Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, Gregory Meeks of New York, and Adam Schiff of California met with Zelenskyy to show support for the Ukrainian government.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also visited Ukraine and held a private meeting with Zelenskyy in the country’s capital city of Kyiv.
President Joe Biden has yet to visit Ukraine or host Zelenskyy.
Zelenskyy previously told CNN host Jake Tapper that he thought Biden ought t visit Ukraine because ‘’he is the leader of the United States, and that’s why he should come here to see.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki, however, confirmed that there are no plans to send Biden to Ukraine.
She said, “No. No, we are not sending the president to Ukraine.”