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Biden visits Ukraine to help Russia a year into aggression amid fears China could give Putin deadly aid

President Biden made an unannounced visit to the Ukrainian capital on Monday to express his strong support for Ukraine, which the United States and its allies have backed. Russia’s almost year-long gratuitous aggressionBiden spent about six hours in Kiev, most of it with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. President Zelensky promised unwavering support and another tranche of US arms.

“In a year, Kiev will stand. Ukraine will stand,” Biden said. “Democracy stands. America stands with you, the world stands with you. Kiev has captured a piece of my heart.”

As Russian President Vladimir Putin prepares to mark the one-year anniversary of the launch of his full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Mr Biden’s visit to the region will be followed by other Europeans in Poland later in the day. was scheduled to meet with the leaders of Among the concerns first publicized over the weekend by America’s top diplomat, China may be at risk of providing weapons to Russia Strengthen its attack.

A White House official said in a phone call with reporters after the president left Kiev and with key national security officials on Friday after meetings in the Oval Office that the president has finalized his decision to proceed with the visit. said to have dropped the

Russian notified National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Biden would head to Kiev for “dispute resolution” hours before departure.

A White House official stressed to reporters that it would be especially difficult for a U.S. president to visit an area of ​​active conflict if the U.S. does not have a military presence on the ground.

“This is a historic visit, unprecedented in modern times for a U.S. president to visit the capital of a country whose critical infrastructure is not controlled by the U.S. military,” Sullivan said. It took a concerted effort by officials across the U.S. government to bring this to a “manageable” level of risk, Sullivan said. I received an explanation.

Mr. Biden traveled with a very small group of his closest aides and was accompanied by only two journalists: a paper reporter and a photographer. White House officials have so far declined to explain the mode of transportation the president used to get to Kiev.

This trip was just before the one year anniversary of the outbreak of the war.Putin ordered a land invasion and the launch of devastating airstrikes against Ukraine on February 24, 2022. He sent tens of thousands of troops across the border in an offensive that appeared to be aimed at quickly overthrowing Zelensky’s Western allied government.

Electricity, heat and water under attack in Ukraine 60 minutes


Putin’s forces far outnumbered those of Ukraine, and for months Russia approached the capital Kiev from several directions and illegally annexed Ukrainian territory. Many expected Kiev to fall within days, but a year later, Ukraine is still fighting for survival.

Backed by much of the Western world and decisively reinforced by US and European arms shipments that continue today, Zelensky’s forces managed to turn the tide late last year and began to reclaim territory.

What Putin has called only a “special military operation” has largely stalled over the winter, with both sides digging along a frontline stretching hundreds of miles from north to south through the Donbass industrial region in eastern Ukraine. was advancing.

“When Putin launched his invasion nearly a year ago, he thought Ukraine was weak and the West divided,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House. I thought it would last a long time, but he was completely wrong.” “Today, in Kiev, I am meeting with President Zelensky and his team to deepen discussions on our assistance to Ukraine. We are announcing another delivery of Ukrainian people from airstrikes.”

biden usa ukraine
President Joe Biden shakes hands with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky after making a statement at the Mariinsky Palace during an unannounced visit to Kiev, Ukraine, February 20, 2023.

Evan Butch/AP

The US president said his government would announce “additional sanctions against elites and corporations seeking to evade or backfill Russia’s war machine” later in the week.

Zelensky said the U.S. leader’s visit was “extremely important to us and I’m proud of it.” He thanked him and thanked him for supporting his country “from the beginning of this tragedy”.

A White House official said the two leaders discussed the advancing security and humanitarian needs of the Ukrainian people.

The Ukrainian president vowed to “protect the city and its citizens together from the terror of Russia.”

Biden said Ukraine had paid a “very high” cost and said he would “come with the families of those who lost loved ones in this brutal and unjust war” and said the United States will continue to support Zelensky and his He added that he supports the country of as long as it takes. ”

Biden’s visit was “historic” and “brave.”

Over the weekend, for the first time, the United States publicly expressed concern that China could become one of the organizations helping to “backfill Russia’s war machine.” Beijing and Moscow are close allies, but China has provided only non-lethal support to President Putin in the first year of the war with its neighbors.

Speaking to CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Secretary of State Anthony Brinken said Beijing could go further.

“Our current concerns are based on information that they are considering providing critical assistance,” Blinken said, without giving further details. .

During a visit to Turkey on Monday, Brinken said it was “something we are monitoring very closely” and said that if Beijing chose to arm Russia, it would be a “true Allies. Again, he did not provide details about those hypothetical results.

Senator Lindsay Graham, who attended a regional security conference in Munich, Germany over the weekend, told China, “If you jump on Putin’s train now, you’re stupider than mud. Buy a ticket for the Titanic.” It’s like… after watching a movie. Don’t do this.”

Former acting defense secretary says US and China are at ‘tipping point’


Biden is said to have warned China’s Biden last March to arm Russia in an attack on Ukraine. role in trying to end the war in Ukraine.

China’s foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Monday that “the United States is not in a position to demand anything from China”.

Wang Wenbin said Beijing’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, is scheduled to visit Moscow.

“The comprehensive cooperative partnership between China and Russia is based on non-alignment, non-conflict and non-targeting of third parties, and is a matter within the sovereignty of two independent countries,” said Foreign Minister Wang Wenbin. rice field. “We will never accept the US criticizing or coercing China-Russia relations,” he said.

The US leader’s visit to the region this week will not only reassure allies that America will continue to support Ukraine for as long as necessary, but also that the president will convince Americans that it is the right move. I have.

Over the weekend, the Biden administration formally accused Putin’s troops of committing murders, torture and rapes during the war, and Vice President Kamala Harris said at a conference in Munich that the Russian military was “beyond any doubt.” Stated. committed a “crime against humanity”.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/biden-in-ukraine-russia-war-news-today-china-putin-lethal-aid-concern/ Biden visits Ukraine to help Russia a year into aggression amid fears China could give Putin deadly aid

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