WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Ukraine on Monday as the one-year anniversary of Russia’s attack nears.
Biden said his visit with President Volodmyr Zelenskyy in the capital city of Kyiv was meant as a public show of solidarity with the war-torn country — and it also showed defiance toward Russia.
In remarks delivered from Kyiv, Biden criticized Russia’s attacks on everything from orphanages to schools, attacks he called “barbaric.”
“I’m here to show our unwavering support for the nation’s independence,” Biden said. “I thought it was critical that there not be any doubt, none whatsoever, about U.S. support for Ukraine.”
Zelenskyy thanked Biden, the United States and other allies for the support to Ukraine in the battle to keep its independence. The fight, he said, must go on “to continue doing everything possible so that the democratic world would win in this historic fight.”
The US State Department also announced $460 million in previously-approved aid to Ukraine will not be distributed. That includes money for missile, tank and air surveillance systems.
“We hope that this year, 2023, will become a year of victory in this unprovoked and criminal Russia’s war against Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said.
The US will also provide other emergency assistance the State Department said is necessary to protect Ukrainian infrastructure.
Biden told Zelenskyy there is significant support for Ukraine in the US Congress. Illinois Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin agrees.
“They’re fighting for our values,” Durbin said. “I’m happy to be on their side.”
There are some Republicans who oppose giving more money to Ukraine. They said the US is already facing too much debt.