President Joe Biden’s visit to Ukraine provides hope for the Ukrainian People


Photo Courtesy of Google Commons

This past Monday, February 20, President Joe Biden paid a visit to Kyiv, Ukraine. Ukrainian forces have been defending against a Russian invasion since last February 2022, and Biden’s visit was the first time a United States president has visited an active warzone that did not contain US troops. 

Biden took a lengthy and secretive journey to Ukraine’s capital, which started with him sneaking out of Washington DC and taking a flight to southeastern Poland. He then drove an hour to the Ukraine-Poland border and took a 10-hour overnight train to Kyiv, where he arrived at 8 a.m. Monday morning. 

His visit signified the support that has been coming from the United States to Ukraine for the last year in the form of weapons and essential resources. When he arrived, he met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss providing additional resources to the Ukrainian people. They strolled through the streets of Kyiv as air raid sirens sounded. 

“One year later, Kyiv stands. Ukraine stands, democracy stands,” Biden said in a speech given at Mariinsky Palace, the home of Zelensky. 

As he continued his speech, he promised to give another 500 million dollars in military aid to Ukraine in the form of missiles and artillery. Zelensky expressed a need for more long-range weapons. 

He explained that Ukraine was in need of “long-range weapons and the weapons that may still be supplied to Ukraine, even though it wasn’t supplied before.” 

Following their speeches to the press, Biden accompanied Zelensky and visited St. Michael’s Monastery, where they paid their respects to 4,500 soldiers who had died since 2014 at the Wall of Remembrance. 

Biden’s visit provided immense motivation and optimism for the Ukrainian people. 

“Thank you so much for coming, Mr. President, at a huge moment for Ukraine,” Zelensky said in his speech. 

Vika Ruban, a Ukrainian student at Chagrin Falls High School who moved here from Kyiv in 2022, expressed how important it was for Biden to pay his visit. 

“It’s nice, for a powerful leader from a large country to have a lot of support for my country and people, for him to help us,” she explained.

Biden stressed that being there was not only to express his support but also to provide reassurance that the United States would be there for Ukraine in any moment of distress. 

​​”It helps [Ukranians] not be scared and be motivated to fight a large country like Russia,” she added.