(CNSNews.com) – President Joe Biden made an unannounced visit to Ukraine on this President’s Day holiday, telling the Ukrainian people, “I thought it was important that the president of the United States be here the day the attack began.”
Almost one year after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his unprovoked war on the Ukrainian people (on February 24, 2022), President Biden offered this message:
“Kyiv stands. And Ukraine stands. Democracy stands. Americans stand with you. And the world stands with you.”
Biden, in side-by-side remarks with Zelenskyy, praised the Ukrainian people for their “astounding” bravery in standing up to the Russian assault, including rescuing people from buildings as they are being shelled, a situation Biden described as “war crimes.”
“It’s the largest land war in Europe in three quarters of a century,” Biden said. “And you’re succeeding against all and every expectation except your own. We have every confidence that you’re going to continue to prevail.”
Biden said the American people recognize that “unchecked aggression” by Russia is “a threat to all of us.”
“We built a coalition of nations from the Atlantic to the Pacific,” Biden said, hailing the NATO alliance: “We united the leading economies of the world to impose unprecedented costs that are squeezing Russia’s economic lifelines.”
Biden listed some of the tanks, vehicles, artillery systems, ammunition, rockets and other air defense systems that the West has sent to Ukraine, even as Ukraine begs for more and more.
Then the president announced another “half-a-billion dollars” in materiel that will be coming to Ukraine. He also announced that additional sanctions are forthcoming “against elites and companies that are trying to evade sanctions and backfill Russia’s war machine.”
“We know that there will be very difficult days, weeks and years ahead,” Biden said:
“But Russia’s aim was to wipe Ukraine off the map. Putin’s war conquest is failing. Russia’s military has lost half its territory it once occupied. Young, talented Russians are fleeing by the tens of thousands, not wanting to come back to Russia. Not just fleeing from the military — fleeing from Russia itself. Because they see no future in their country.
“Russia’s economy is now a backwater, isolated and struggling. Putin thought Ukraine was weak and the West was divided. As you know, Mr. President, I said in the beginning he’s counting on us not sticking together. He was counting on the inability to keep NATO united. He was counting on us not to be able to bring in others on the side of Ukraine.
“He thought he could outlast us. I don’t think he’s thinking that right now. God knows what he’s thinking, but I don’t think he’s thinking that.
“But he’s just been plain wrong. Plain wrong. One year later, the evidence is right here in this room. We stand here together.”
Biden praised President Zelenskyy and all Ukrainians for reminding the world what courage means.
“It’s astounding. Astounding. Reminds us that freedom that is priceless. It’s worth fighting for, as long as it takes. And that’s how long we’re going to be with you, Mr. President, for as long as it takes.”
Biden and Zelenskyy also visited a cathedral in Kyiv as air raid sirens sounded; and they laid a wreath at a monument honoring the Ukrainian war dead.
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