US first lady Jill Biden visits Ukraine, meets Volodymyr Zelensky's wife Olena
- This is Olena Zelenska's first public apperance since Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February
- The first lady of US traveled by vehicle to Uzhhorod, a town bordering Slovakia
- Jill Biden is the highest profile member of President Joe Biden's administration to visit Ukraine
Jill Biden, the first lady of the United States of America, travelled to western Ukraine in an unannounced trip on Sunday.
She met Olena Zelenska, Ukraine's first lady, at school in Uzhhorod, a town a few miles from the border with Slovakia, reported The New York Times.
"I wanted to come in 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," she said.
The visit was not announced due to security concerns. The first lady traveled by vehicle to Uzhhorod. She spent about two hours in the country.
Olena has not appeared in public since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. She and Biden embraced outside the school, which has been converted to a temporary shelter for fleeing families, and the latter gave her a bouquet.
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Olena thanked the first lady for her "courageous visit". “We understand what it takes for the U.S. first lady to come here during a war, where the military actions are taking place every day, where the air sirens are happening every day, even today,” she said.
Meanwhile, Biden said that she wanted to make the visit 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,” she said.
Biden is the highest profile member of President Joe Biden's administration to visit Ukraine. Biden's visit follows recent visits in the war-torn country by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress, as well as a joint trip by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv.
While Joe Biden visited Poland in March , he stopped short of entering the Ukraine due to security concerns.
Earlier in the day, Jill Biden also met refugee families at an emergency aid center in Kosice, Slovakia.