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Jill Biden makes unannounced visit to Ukraine

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Jill Biden makes unannounced visit to Ukraine
First lady Jill Biden on Sunday made an unannounced trip to Ukraine where she met with first lady Olena Zelenska, the wife of President Volodymyr Zelensky, at a school near the border with Slovakia. Photo courtesy Jill Biden/Twitter

May 8 (UPI) -- First lady Jill Biden on Sunday made an unannounced trip to Ukraine where she met with first lady Olena Zelenska, the wife of President Volodymyr Zelensky, at a school near the border with Slovakia.

"On this Mother's Day, my heart is with you, First Lady Olena Zelenska, and all of the brave and resilient mothers of Ukraine," Biden said on Twitter after the visit.

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In a photo shared by Biden, she can be seen carrying flowers for her Ukrainian counterpart as the women embrace in a hug.

Biden met with Zelenska at a school in Uzhhorod, a town just a few miles from the border with Slovakia which is being used as a shelter for refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.

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"We understand what it takes for the U.S. first lady to come here during a war, where the military actions are taking place every day, where the air sirens are happening every day, even today," Zelenska told reporters after the hour-long visit.

Biden is the latest high-profile official to visit Ukraine after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a delegation of lawmakers to the country last Sunday. Before Pelosi, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin visited with officials in Kyiv.

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President Joe Biden, who has not visited Ukraine, made a trip to Warsaw, Poland, in March during which he said that Russian President Vladimir Putin "cannot remain in power."

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Jill Biden's trip to Ukraine came amid a trip to Europe that included visiting with Ukrainian refugees in a school in Romania.

On Saturday, she visited Scoala Gimnaziala Uruguay, a Romanian school in Bucharest that had opened its classrooms to Ukrainian refugee students, alongside Romania's first lady Carmen lohannis.

Before crossing the border into Ukraine on Sunday, Biden -- a professor at Northern Virginia Community College -- had visited the Tomasikova Street School in Slovakia on Sunday to meet with students and teachers.

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