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Ukrainian President Visits U.S. in First International Trip Since Russian Invasion

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy landed in the U.S. on Wednesday in what is his first known trip outside his home country since Russia invaded his home country in February.

U.S. President Joe Biden and Zelenskyy are meeting at the White House for a bilateral meeting between high-ranking officials from both nations, followed by a press conference with the two leaders scheduled at 4:30 p.m. local time. Zelenskyy is expected to address a joint session of Congress at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced a $1.85 billion military package for Ukraine that includes a Patriot missile system, which Russia has warned the U.S. against sending to Ukraine.

Zelenskyy tweeted earlier Wednesday that the meeting would be focused on strengthening the “resilience and defense capabilities” of Ukraine.

The president’s U.S. visit comes just hours after he made a surprise trip to the front-line city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday. There, he met soldiers defending the city from Russian forces, which have been trying to capture it for months.

Zelenskyy praised the bravery and fortitude of troops and civilians in the Donetsk city, saying, “Bakhmut Fortress. Our people. Unconquered by the enemy. Who with their bravery prove that we will endure and will not give up what’s ours. Ukraine is proud of you. I am proud of you! Thank you for the courage, resilience and strength shown in repelling the enemy attacks.”


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