U.S. President Joe Biden arrives on a surprise visit to Kiev. In the morning, local media and social media had released images of what is referred to as the U.S. president’s convoy.
The streets of central Kiev have been blocked to traffic since the early morning, since several local journalists had spoken of the imminent arrival of an “important delegation.”
Biden arrives in Kiev in surprise visit
U.S. President Joe Biden made a surprise arrival in Kiev for the first time since the start of the war. Some Ukrainian media initially spread the rumor, which was followed by confirmations from reporters present in Kiev.
Biden was expected in Warsaw in recent hours, but rumors were strong that he would visit the Ukrainian capital just four days before the first anniversary of the war to reiterate U.S. support for Ukraine.
Since the war began, the U.S. has given Ukraine 15 billion in aid. Twitter has been abuzz with images showing Kiev’s deserted streets, claiming they had been closed to traffic just in anticipation of the White House tenant’s visit.
Biden meets Zelensky: “One year later, Kiev stands, democracy endures”
“One year later, Kiev and Ukraine are standing. Democracy endures,” U.S. President Joe Biden said while meeting Ukrainian President Zelensky at the presidential palace in Kiev.
The U.S. president announced half a billion dollars in additional assistance to Ukraine. In joint remarks with Ukrainian President Biden said the package will include more military equipment, including artillery munitions, more javelins and howitzers.
Zelensky said he and Biden talked about “long-range weapons and the weapons that could still be provided to Ukraine even if they had not been provided before.”
Biden in Kiev, massive security measures deployed
Security measures are massive. Numerous warfare planes are flying over the Polish-Ukrainian border, while the center of the Ukrainian capital has been closed.
Biden arrived in Kiev by land, and several witnesses filmed a long column of motor vehicles driving through the city.
In addition, it appears that the airspace over Kiev has been blocked, while U.S. planes have been reported moving over the city since this morning. Meanwhile, an air alert has gone out over all of Ukraine, including Kiev.
Air alert declared throughout Ukraine
Meanwhile, an air alert has been issued throughout Ukraine following the takeoff of a MiG-31K fighter jet in Belarus.
Ukrainska Pravda reports this, citing the monitoring map on air alerts in the country. At 11:27 a.m. local time, an escort fighter took off from Baranovichi Airport. And at 11:30 a.m. the MiG – which can carry the Kinzhal hypersonic missile – departed from Machulishchi Airport.