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US First Lady Jill Biden pays surprise visit to Ukraine

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Kyiv | May 8, 2022 8:53:15 PM IST
US first lady Jill Biden made an unannounced visit to Uzhhorod in western Ukraine on Sunday and met the nation's first lady, Olena Zelenska.

Biden met with Ukraine's first lady Olena Zelenska at a converted school that now serves as temporary housing for displaced citizens.

Notably, Olena Zelenska was not seen in the public space since the war started in Ukraine on February 24.

While sharing the video of their meeting, Michael LaRosa, Press Secretary to the US First Lady and Special Assistant to the President tweeted, "The moment First Ladies Jill Biden of US and Olena Zelenska of Ukraine met today in Uzhhorod, Ukraine."

Russia has intensified its military operations in the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine.

The first lady is the latest high profile American to visit the war-torn country in recent weeks.

"I wanted to come on Mother's Day," said Biden to her Ukrainian counterpart, the two women seated at a small table in a classroom, CNN reported.

"We thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people this war has to stop. And this war has been brutal." Biden added, "The people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine."

Biden's visit comes after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress, as well as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Ukraine and with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv.

Zelenska, who early on in the Russian invasion sent a letter to Biden, has exchanged correspondence in recent weeks, US officials tell CNN.

Notably, Russia launched a "special military operation" in Ukraine on February 24, which the West has termed an unwarranted war. As a result of this, the western countries have also imposed several crippling sanctions on Moscow. (ANI)

 
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