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It appears the White House PR team has been quite busy trying to get creative in terms of ways it could display support for Ukraine… short of President Joe Biden actually going there himself (as has been requested and urged by Zelensky). They came up with a Mother’s Day “surprise” in the form of first lady Jill Biden traveling to a war zone to meet the first lady of Ukraine for a photo op.
CNN reports of the previously unannounced visit, “First lady Jill Biden spent part of Mother’s Day making an unannounced trip to Uzhhorod, Ukraine, a small city in the far southwestern corner of Ukraine, a country that for the last 10 weeks has been under invasion by Russia.”
The two met in a former school that’s now a refugee center for Ukrainians’ fleeing the fighting. Notably it’s the first time that President Zelensky’s wife, Olena Zelenska, has appeared in public since the Russian invasion kicked off on Feb.24.
The Ukrainian first lady praised Jill Biden’s “very courageous act” – and Biden explained, “I wanted to come on Mother’s Day.” She said: “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.”
Three weeks ago Ukraine’s President Zelensky told CNN’s Jake tapper that the US president should visit his country in person because “he is the leader of the United States, and that’s why he should come here to see.”
— Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) May 8, 2022
But many pundits have noted the huge security risk for such a trip, but additionally the question of Biden’s age, stamina and mental acumen for such a journey. Last month both Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin visited Kiev, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made the trip a week ago.
Last month when pressed on the question of Biden going, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki insisted “No. no… We are not sending the president to Ukraine.” She explained that when the UK’s Boris Johnson made the trip, he had to take a long train ride under high secure conditions. The suggestion was that it would be too difficult and risky for the US president to undertake, however, apparently it’s not for his wife Jill.
Sun, 05/08/2022 – 16:20