| 20 June 2024, Thursday |

Bidens welcome Ukraine’s first lady to the White House

The first lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, paid a visit to the White House on Tuesday before her speech to Congress on Wednesday, and was greeted by U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden with flowers in their hands.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s wife, Zelenska, was met outside her vehicle by the president and gave Jill Biden a warm embrace before accepting the flowers.

Afterwards, the two women and delegations from both countries sat down for a meeting in the White House Blue Room.

Jill Biden had made a surprise visit to Ukraine, which Russia invaded earlier this year, in May, visiting her counterpart and a school that was sheltering displaced Ukrainians.

Russia calls its action in Ukraine a “special military operation” to ensure its own security. Zelenskiy has led his country in standing up to Moscow.

“When I came back, one of the things that I said was, you cannot go into a war zone and come back and not feel the sorrow and the pain of the people,” Jill Biden said at the beginning of their meeting.

She said she had spoken to her team about helping address mental health issues for mothers and children who have suffered atrocities.

Zelenska is scheduled to address the U.S. Congress on Wednesday, according to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.

  • Reuters