US First Lady Jill Biden makes surprise visit to Ukraine

Updated: May 08, 2022, 08:13 PM(IST)

Jill Biden arrived during an unannounced visit to Ukraine on the sidelines of an official trip to nearby Slovakia.

Jill Biden in Ukraine

US First lady Jill Biden and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky's wife Olena Zelenska join children making tissue-paper bears for Mother’s Day gifts at a school in Uzhhorod on May 8.

Jill Biden arrived during an unannounced visit to Ukraine on the sidelines of an official trip to nearby Slovakia.

(Photograph:AFP)

'I wanted to come on Mother's Day' 

US First lady Jill Biden offers flowers to Ukraine President's wife Olena Zelenska outside a school that has taken in displaced students in Uzhhorod.

"I wanted to come on Mother's Day. I thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people that this war has to stop and this war has been brutal and that the people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine," the US First Lady said.

(Photograph:AFP)

Jill Biden with Ukraine President's wife

Jill Biden meets with Ukraine President's wife Olena Zelenska in Uzhhorod.

Earlier on Sunday, US first lady Jill Biden had met Ukrainian refugees in eastern Slovakia, the last full day of her tour of Romania and Slovakia to visit US servicemen deployed there and women and children who fled Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"I thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people that this war has to stop and this war has been brutal and that the people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine,” Jill Biden said.

(Photograph:AFP)

Zelenska's first public appearance since February 24

A US official said it was Zelenska's first public appearance since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. 

The United Nations says 5.8 million people in total have fled Ukraine since Russia started what it describes as a "special military operation" in Ukraine on February 24.

Later on Sunday, Biden and Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger visited Vysne Nemecke, the main road crossing on Slovakia's 98 km border with Ukraine.

She expressed gratitude to officials and non-government organisations, and joined a brief prayer for refugees in an improvised chapel in one of many tents set up by aid groups.
 

(Photograph:AFP)

Read in App