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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged President Biden to visit Ukraine and see the carnage that Russian troops have exacted on the civilian population.
“It’s his decision of course, and about the safety situation, it depends,” Zelenskyy told “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper. “I think he is the leader of the United States, and that’s why he should come here to see.”
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Zelenskyy labeled Russia’s actions in Ukraine a genocide, saying his country had “substantial evidence” to back up its claims. He invited French President Emmanuel Macron to follow in the footsteps of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and visit Kyiv as the two world leaders continue to discuss how to proceed with peace talks between Ukraine and Russia.
When asked if he wanted Biden to visit, Zelenskyy said not only that he wanted to see the U.S. president in Kyiv but also thinks that such a visit will happen.
Biden himself has said he was personally ready to travel to Ukraine, but the White House over the past week has continued to insist that Biden has no plans to visit.
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“No. no,” Psaki said in answer to questions Friday by “Pod Save America” podcast hosts on whether the administration was even considering sending the president to Kyiv.
“We are not sending the president to Ukraine,” she added firmly.
Johnson and Zelenskyy enjoyed high praise for their show of solidarity when the two were shown walking defiantly down the streets of Kyiv and speaking with locals.
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“This is what democracy looks like,” tweeted Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense. “This is what courage looks like. This is what true friendship between peoples and between nations looks like.”
Zelenskyy renewed his calls for fresh assistance and equipment, saying that Ukraine needs equipment “today,” not in “two or three months.”
“Some countries are just not offering assistance,” Zelenskyy said. “They can send millions, but we can still lose our state. That’s why one has to strike a balance.”
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The U.S. on Thursday authorized a further $800 million in weapons, ammunition and other security assistance to Ukraine. The White House said that Ukraine has used the previous assistance to “devastating effect.”
The new assistance package adds to an already robust assistance package of over $1 billion pledged to Ukraine by Biden since the start of Russia’s campaign.