US President Joe Biden arrived in Kyiv on Monday morning for a surprise visit to the Ukrainian capital and for talks with President Volodimir Zelensky. In addition, Biden took the opportunity to announce a new $500 million support package.
It was known that Biden would travel to Poland on Monday, but that the US president would also go to Kyiv was a surprise despite weeks of speculation: the visit had not been announced for security reasons. However, footage taken by residents of the city shows Biden accompanied by Ukrainian President Zelensky taking a walk in the city centre and visiting St Michael’s Cathedral.
Shortly before and during Biden and Zelensky’s walk, air raid sirens went off in the city, but there is no indication that Russian bombings took place on Monday morning. It is Biden’s first visit to Ukraine since the start of the war nearly a year ago.
Biden announced a new support package worth $ 500 million during his visit. That package, which would include munitions and the HIMARS missile system, would be formally approved on Tuesday. Biden also said in his speech that the United States will continue to support Ukraine “for as long as it takes.”
Ukrainian President Zelensky responded in a short message on Facebook to Biden’s visit. “President Biden, welcome to Kyiv!” it sounds. “Your visit is an extremely important signal of support for all Ukrainians.”