President Biden took a nearly 10-hour train ride from the border of Poland to show his administration’s “unwavering support” nearly a year into Russia’s invasion.
Biden arrived unannounced early Monday morning to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky, and the two stepped out into the streets of Kyiv even as an air-raid siren sounded, a dramatic moment captured on video that underscored the investment the United States has made in Ukraine’s independence.
The alarm on Monday morning was triggered by a Russian MIG fighter jet taking off in Belarus, which borders Ukraine to the north. A missile from a MIG fired from Belarus can hit a target in Kyiv in under 20 minutes.
Biden slipped out of Washington in the dark of night without notice. Air Force One took off at 4:15 a.m. on Sunday East Coast time. Just a few reporters sworn to secrecy and deprived of their telephones were brought with him, along with Jake Sullivan, the president’s national security adviser; Jen O’Malley Dillon, his deputy chief of staff; and Annie Tomasini, the director of Oval Office operations.
After a trans-Atlantic flight to Poland, Biden and entourage crossed the border by train, traveling for nearly 10 hours to Kyiv as other American officials have in recent months because flying into a war zone is unsafe.
The 80-year-old president appeared energized by the opportunity to come in person. Wearing a blue suit with a blue and yellow striped tie, the colors of the Ukrainian flag, Biden arrived in Kyiv at 8 a.m. local time.
Zelensky was wearing his signature black sweatshirt with dark green pants and beige boots.
“It’s presumptuous of me to say this, but I thought it was important that the president of the United States be here the day that the attack began,” Biden said. (The anniversary of the invasion is Friday.)
He added: “I thought it was critical that there not be any doubt, none whatsoever, about U.S. support for Ukraine in the war.”
And if impeachment doesn’t develop, let’s just move to divorce court, right Marge? We have to warn you, though, there will be no blue state alimony for red states.