Jill Biden Meets the First Lady of Ukraine

On Sunday, May 8th, First Lady Jill Biden paid a surprising visit to Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska in Uzhhorod, Ukraine. It has been a few months since Zelenska was seen in public. She has been hiding during the Russian invasion.

Jill Biden wanted to visit on Mother’s Day. She said, “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 visited a local school in Ukraine that is being used to house people who fled the Russian attacks from eastern Ukraine. Zelenska replied, “I would like to thank you for a very courageous act because we understand what it takes for the US first lady to come here during a war when the military actions are taking place every day, where the air sirens are happening every day, even today.” Zelenska was given a bouquet of flowers.

Zelenska and her two children have been in hiding because they did not want to be the target of Russian forces. Her husband remains in the fight in Kyiv. In the school she and Jill Biden visited, they saw 15 displaced Ukrainian children doing arts and crafts. The decorations were the colors of the Ukrainian flag and children were making Mother’s Day gifts. Jill Biden and Zelenska made paper tissue bears.

Jill Biden has been touring Easten Europe to connect with American troops and Ukrainian refugees. She visited another school in Slovakia who made arts and crafts in schools for Mother’s Day. Other American officials visited Ukraine to show their support, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Even on Mother’s Day, there was a school being bombed in Ukraine and many Ukrainian people were hiding from the war in Bilohorivka. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, “We have called out the Russians very early on for committing war crimes, and this contributes to that. We’re going to continue to work with the Ukrainian prosecutors and others to document evidence of their war crimes so that they can be held accountable. This just adds to the long list that we already have.”

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