WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — First lady Jill Biden made a surprise tip to Ukraine on Mother’s Day, where she met with the first lady of the county entering its 11th straight week of a war with Russia.
The visit was the latest in a stream of high-profile U.S. officials visiting Ukraine to offer their support to a country in the midst of a bloody battle where there is still no end in sight.
Biden and Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska met at a school that is taking in displaced Ukrainian students. Biden extended her support to all of Ukraine.
“This war has to stop, the people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine,” she said.
The first lady’s visit was well received. The first lady of Ukraine, who hasn’t been seen in public since February, called the act courageous.
The visit comes on the cusp of a potentially pivotal week of the war. On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a massive parade marking Russia’s Victory Day, a date that commemorates the country’s defeat of Nazi Germany during World War II.
On CBS’ Face the Nation, Oksana Markarova, the Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S., said she predicts Putin will use Monday’s event to recruit more soldiers to fight.
“We’re preparing for everything,” Markarova told CBS. “I hope that then it will be evident for all Russians what they’re doing in Ukraine, it’s an aggressive war. … The question is are they prepared to have more tens of thousands die in Ukraine for no reason.”
She said not matter what Putin does, Ukraine stands ready to fight until the end.
On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said the U.S. must continue to send military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
“I’m not asking for troops on the ground but to make sure that Ukraine can expel Russia and that Putin is a war criminal in the eyes of the world,” Graham told Fox News.
In an effort to deter escalating Russian aggression, U.S. and G-7 partners announced on Sunday new sanctions targeting Russian oil imports, dozens of banking executives and three television stations in Russia.