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[WATCH] FLOTUS Jill Biden Was Her Husband’s ‘Eyes and Ears’ On Surprise Ukraine Trip

[WATCH] FLOTUS Jill Biden Was Her Husband’s ‘Eyes and Ears’ On Surprise Ukraine Trip

They might call it “soft diplomacy” when a First Lady makes a visit to another country, but First Lady Jill Biden knows from firsthand experience that there’s nothing “soft” about being a mother during a war.

Dr. Biden made a surprise Mother’s Day visit to Romania and Ukraine, where she met with and fed American troops (she also brought some much-needed flavor from home in the form of ketchup, which is in short supply on the base). “I know it’s hard on your families,” she told one servicemember, referencing her own experience when her son Beau Biden deployed to Iraq.

Ever since Putin invaded Ukraine in late February, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been open about wanting President Biden to visit him in Kyiv, just like many other world leaders have done, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday. President Biden has also expressed his desire to visit, but “Part of my disappointment is that I can’t see it firsthand … they will not let me,” the President said, likely speaking about the ever-present security concerns associated with presidential travel that are heightened by any talk of sending him to an active war zone.

And so it was his wife who went to Ukraine instead. Dr. Biden had initially wanted to visit in March, but ultimately decided on a surprise Mother’s Day weekend trip to help cheer up Ukrainian moms who fled with their children to “frontline” countries like Slovakia that border Ukraine and have been taking them in. Dr. Biden also met with her Ukrainian counterpart in an emotional display of the two countries’ solidarity.

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The first thing the American First Lady did after meeting for two hours with the Ukrainian First Lady, Olena Zelenska, was to call her husband and tell him what she and seen and heard. Dr. Biden said she told her husband in their phone call “just how much I saw the need to support the people of Ukraine” and about “the horrors and the brutality that the people I had met had experienced.”

 

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