Jill Biden Makes Surprise Mother’s Day Visit to Western Ukraine

US First lady Jill Biden (L) offers flowers to Ukraine President wife Olena Zelenska, outside of School 6, a public school that has taken in displaced students in Uzhhorod on May 8, 2022, during an unannounced visit of Jill Biden to Ukraine on the sidelines of an official trip in …
SUSAN WALSH/POOL/AFP via Getty

First Lady Jill Biden on Sunday made a surprise visit to western Ukraine where she was greeted by  her counterpart Olena Zelensky.

AP reports Biden became the latest high-profile American to enter Ukraine during its 10-week-old conflict with Russia after travelling in total secrecy.

“I wanted to come on Mother’s Day,” Biden told Zelensky on arrival. “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.”

The first lady arrived by vehicle to the town of Uzhhorod, about a 10-minute drive from a Slovakian village that borders Ukraine, according to AP.

It is just the latest in a string of diplomatic visits she had made without her husband by her side.

Zelensky thanked 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 school where they met has been turned into transitional housing for Ukrainian migrants from elsewhere in the country.

U.S. First lady Jill Biden (L) and Ukraine President wife Olena Zelensky (R) join a group of children making tissue-paper bears for Mother’s Day gifts at School 6, a public school that has taken in displaced students in Uzhhorod on May 8, 2022, during an unannounced visit of Jill Biden to Ukraine on the sidelines of an official trip in nearby Slovakia. ( SUSAN WALSH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Jill Biden’s visit follows recent stops in the war-torn country by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress, as well as a joint trip by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv.

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