U.S. first lady Jill Biden meets with Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska at School 6, a public school that has taken in displaced students in Uzhhorod, Ukraine.
U.S First lady Jill Biden made an unannounced visit to western Ukraine on Sunday, holding a surprise Mother’s Day meeting with first lady Olena Zelenska to show U.S. support for the embattled nation as Russia presses its punishing war in the eastern regions.
The love between a mother and child transcends all. pic.twitter.com/Umi8HksgZH
— Jill Biden (@FLOTUS) May 9, 2022
Jill Biden traveled under the cloak of secrecy, becoming the latest high-profile American to enter Ukraine during its 10-week-old conflict with Russia.
“I wanted to come on Mother’s Day,” the U.S. first lady told Zelenska. “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.”
U.S.first lady Biden spent about two hours in Ukraine, traveling by vehicle to the town of Uzhhorod, about a 10-minute drive from a Slovakian village that she toured on the border.
Zelenska thanked Jill Biden for her “courageous act” and said, “We understand what it takes for the U.S. first lady to come here during a war when military actions are taking place every day, where the air sirens are happening every day — even today.”
The two first ladies came together in a small classroom, sitting across a table from one another and greeting each other in front of reporters before they met in private.
The school where they met has been turned into transitional housing for Ukrainian migrants from elsewhere in the country.
The visit allowed Biden to conduct the kind of personal diplomacy that her husband would like to be doing himself.