Volodymyr Zelensky’s first journey abroad since the start of the conflict is to Washington, D.C

Volodymyr Zelensky’s first journey abroad since the start of the conflict is to Washington, D.C

Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was his route to Washington, D.C. to meet with Vice President Joe Biden and ask Congress for additional armaments. This was his first unexpected abroad travel since the start of the war 300 days ago.

Zelensky stated in a tweet that the purpose of the tour was to boost Ukraine’s “resilience and defense capabilities” as Russian forces continued to target Ukraine’s damaged energy and water infrastructure in the dead of winter.

Since the 24th of February, when Russian troops entered the nation, Zelensky had not left Ukraine. His first overseas military mission was anticipated to last several hours.

Wednesday morning, Polish news channel TVN24 reported that Zelensky entered Poland en way to the United States. The network broadcast footage of what looked to be the Ukrainian leader being led from a railway station to a motorcade.

Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky traveled to Washington, D.C., after visiting troops on the front line in Bakhmut on Tuesday.
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SECRETARY SER Zelensky tweeted that he was embarking on his first abroad travel since the outbreak of the war “to improve Ukraine’s resilience and defense capacities.”

TVN24 reported that the video, which was partially pixelated for security reasons, was captured on Wednesday in the Polish-Ukrainian border town of Przemysl.

In the afternoon, Zelensky will meet with Vice President Biden and senior national security officials at the White House, engage in a joint press conference with the president in the East Room, and then travel to Capitol Hill to address a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives.

In a statement released Tuesday evening, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated that Vice President Biden is looking forward to Zelensky’s visit and that his presentation to Congress would reflect “the strong, bipartisan support for Ukraine.”

The majority of their phone conversations have been portrayed as friendly, with the exception of a June call in which Biden reportedly yelled at his Ukrainian counterpart after Zelensky requested additional assistance after being informed of a $1 billion aid package.

She stated: “The visit will highlight the United States’ unwavering commitment to helping Ukraine for as long as it takes, including via the provision of economic, humanitarian, and military assistance.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated in her invitation to Zelensky to address a joint meeting of Congress at the US Capitol that “the fight for Ukraine is the fight for democracy itself” and that members “look forward to hearing your inspiring message of unity, perseverance, and resolve.”

Zelensky will meet with Vice President Biden at the White House and join him for an afternoon press conference.

During their most recent phone conversation on December 11, Biden and Zelensky explored the possibility of a joint summit in Washington, and a formal invitation came three days later, according to a senior administration official.

Friday, Zelensky accepted the offer, and Sunday, when the White House began negotiating with Pelosi to plan the congressional address, it was confirmed.

The White House consulted with Zelensky regarding security for his departure from Ukraine and travel to Washington, including the risk of Russian action while Zelensky was temporarily out of the country, according to the official, who declined to elaborate on the measures taken to protect the Ukrainian leader.

Pelosi, who visited Zelensky in Kyiv earlier this year, urged lawmakers to attend the Ukrainian leader’s remarks on Wednesday evening.

Pelosi noted in a message to colleagues on Tuesday, “We are concluding a very special session of the 117th Congress with legislation that makes progress for the American people and supports our democracy.” Wednesday evening will feature a particularly special focus on democracy.

At a candlelight vigil sponsored by US Ukrainian Activists in front of the White House in Washington, D.C. on December 20, 2022, marking day 300 of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Nadiya Shaporynska delivers a speech.
Bryan Olin Dozier/NurPhoto/Shutt

Later, at the Capitol, she stated, of Ukrainians, “They are fighting for democracy on our behalf.”

Mykhailo Podolyak, Zelensky’s top political adviser, stated that the US visit demonstrated the high level of confidence between the two countries and gave him the opportunity to clarify what armaments Ukraine requires.

“This finally puts an end to the Russian side’s attempts to prove that our bilateral relations are deteriorating,” Podolyak added. “Obviously, this is not even close. The United States supports Ukraine unconditionally.

According to a senior US official, Biden will announce about $2 billion in fresh military aid for Ukraine, which would include a Patriot surface-to-air missile battery to help the country protect itself against Russian missile barrages.

At the time of Zelensky’s visit, US senators are scheduled to vote on a year-end budget package that contains approximately $45 billion in emergency aid for Ukraine.

“Weapons, weapons, and additional weapons. “It is necessary to explain personally why we require particular sorts of armaments,” Podolyak stated. Specifically, armored vehicles, the most advanced missile defense systems, and long-range missiles.

During his visit to Bakhmut, Zelensky was presented with a Ukrainian flag autographed by soldiers, which he implied he would present to U.S. officials.

Biden will meet the man he has routinely communicated with for the previous ten months but has not met in person since the outbreak of war. The US official stated that he will not use the talks to force Zelensky to the bargaining table with Putin.

Wednesday, the Kremlin stated that it saw no possibility of peace negotiations with Kiev. In a call with reporters, Dmitry Peskov, a Russian government spokesman, stated that continued Western arms shipments to Ukraine will “deepen” the crisis.

The Biden administration has provided Ukraine with around $20 billion worth of military aid, including artillery ammunition, munitions for NASAMS air defense systems, and high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS).

Zelensky left for the United States just hours after a perilous excursion to the city of Bakhmut, which he described as the hottest area on the front lines of the battle, where he met with Ukrainian forces and awarded medals.

In a video published by his office from a location he referred to as “fortress Bakhmut,” Zelensky was presented with the Ukrainian flag and intimated that he intended to present it to US leaders.

Zelensky added in the video, “The guys gave us our lovely Ukrainian flag with their signatures to carry on.” “We are in a difficult situation. The enemy is expanding its forces. Our people are more courageous and require more potent weapons. We will deliver the message from the lads to Congress and the president of the United States. We appreciate their assistance, but it is insufficient. It is a hint, but it is not sufficient.”

 

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