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President Joe Biden caused another controversy on Monday over a handwritten message he left Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a previously unannounced visit to Kyiv. During a visit to the Ukraine royal palace, Biden wrote in a log denoting the occasion that the city had “captured a part of my heart.”
“I am honored to be welcomed again in Kyiv. I stand in solidarity and friendship with the freedom-loving people of Ukraine,” Biden wrote. “Mr. President, please accept my deepest respect for your courage and leadership. Slava Ukraini!”
Fox News added: “Biden wrote the note during his 5-hour visit to the war-torn country on Monday. He used the visit to reaffirm his administration’s commitment to supporting Ukraine against Russia’s invasion for as long as it takes. Biden pledged an additional half a billion dollars in military assistance during the visit. The U.S. has already delivered more than $100 billion in assistance to Ukraine since Russia first invaded the country in February 2022.”
The American president’s message drew no shortage of outrage and ire on social media.
“So the Ukraine has your heart. But not America. Not East Palestine. Not the southern border. Not food cost twice as in 2020. Record debit. IMPEACH THE FOOL @GOP,” one user wrote on Twitter.
So the Ukraine has your heart.
But not America. Not East Palestine. Not the southern border. Not food cost twice as in 2020. Record debit.
IMPEACH THE FOOL@GOP
SEE IT: Biden's message to Zelenskyy written in Ukraine Royal Palace guest bookhttps://t.co/QNIh7c303Y
— An American 🇺🇸 (@Joe7993) February 20, 2023
“America last,” wrote another.
“It’s also part of your wallet,” Ryan Fournier, founder of Students For Trump, added.
“This is what you tweet on Presidents’ Day?! What about love for AMERICA?” former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis added.
This is what you tweet on Presidents’ Day?! What about love for AMERICA?
— Jenna Ellis 🇺🇸 (@JennaEllisEsq) February 20, 2023
“You are the GREATEST President Ukraine has ever had….” noted “Dear America Podcast” host Graham Allen.
Several American lawmakers have voiced their belief that supporting Ukraine should be a top priority, but some have criticized the decision to continue providing financial aid without appropriate oversight. While House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has expressed concerns about offering Ukraine an unrestricted financial aid package, the Biden administration has promised to back Zelenskyy’s administration for as long as necessary.
National security officials have disclosed more information about Biden’s unexpected trip to Ukraine, which is considered unprecedented given the lack of U.S. military infrastructure in the region. During a press briefing, national security adviser Jake Sullivan was repeatedly questioned about whether the U.S. had given Moscow prior warning that President Biden would be visiting Kyiv, a city that had previously been targeted by Russian missile attacks.
“We did notify the Russians that President Biden would be traveling to Kyiv,” Sullivan said. “We did so some hours before his departure for de-confliction purposes.”
The United States is risking a nuclear exchange with Russia if the Biden administration decides to help Ukraine militarily retake Crimea, a former long-serving Republican lawmaker from Texas said last month after the suggestion was floated.
Dr. Ron Paul, the father of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), noted the potential escalation in a Twitter post containing a clip of an interview he did recently discussing the administration’s consideration, asking, “Are Americans okay with this?”
The Times added:
For years, the United States has insisted that Crimea is still part of Ukraine. Yet the Biden administration has held to a hard line since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, refusing to provide Kyiv with the weapons it needs to target the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia has been using as a base for launching devastating strikes.
Now that line is starting to soften.
After months of discussions with Ukrainian officials, the Biden administration is finally starting to concede that Kyiv may need the power to strike the Russian sanctuary, even if such a move increases the risk of escalation, according to several U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive debate.
The paper noted further that, at present, there are tens of thousands of “dug-in” Russian troops stationed in Crimea at several military bases. The Times also noted that there has been no change in position from the Biden administration: Crimea is Ukrainian territory.
“We have said throughout the war that Crimea is Ukraine, and Ukraine has the right to defend themselves and their sovereign territory in their internationally recognized borders,” said Adrienne Watson, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council.