It is common for American Presidents to stand at the edge of Europe and say to Russia that they will stand with their allies. President Kennedy declared, “Ich bin ein Berliner.” President Reagan said, “Mr. Gorbachev tear down that wall.” On his surprise President’s Day visit to Kyiv, President Biden stated, “One year later, Kyiv stands. And Ukraine strands. Democracy stands.”
Just a couple of days before the one-year anniversary of Russia’s brutal attack on Ukraine, President Biden walked through the streets of Kyiv. The president paid tribute to those who died in defense of Ukraine, saying freedom is priceless.
In addition, Biden poignantly conjured his February discussion with Zelensky as a monumental growth in Russia’s long-running hostility against Ukraine. He recollected with Zelensky at his side, “You said you didn’t know when we’d be able to speak again. That dark night…the world was literally bracing for the fall of Kyiv…perhaps even the end of Ukraine.”
By all means, the symbolism of the American president standing beside Zelensky, strolling through Kyiv, even as air raid sirens went off, enforced various other messages also.
To those going to combat for Ukraine, it was an exceedingly significant communication of unity that came with additional obligations from President Biden of armed forces backing for Ukraine.
President Biden made a point to say to Vladimir Putin that he was in Kyiv, not Putin. He then went on to say that Putin did not take the capital city as anticipated and that the attack was denied, and Putin’s army endured disgrace that they still are recovering from.
As part of his surprise visit to Ukraine, Biden also demonstrated America’s solidarity and leadership among its European allies, according to the official White House statement.
Biden’s visit also contributed to statements made by Secretary of State Blinken after conversations with his Chinese counterpart on the fringes of Munich. Blinken said China was “considering providing lethal support” to Russia to help in the attack on Ukraine and advised that such an operation would have grave repercussions.
During Biden’s visit, the U.S. and Western countries were reminded how important Ukraine is to them, and presenting the conflict as a result of Russian violations of international law will emphasize to the Chinese that supporting Russia’s attack and serial war crimes would make China an accessory to those crimes if they directly supported them. In light of the fragility of its economy at the moment, China would suffer severe sanctions and rifts with the international community if it took such a step.
The American people were yet another reason for Biden to be in Kyiv, as he provided the most evident feasible reminder of his position facing Russian hostility. It shows he didn’t think twice about supporting Ukraine when it was endangered and that his control within our allies globally has been one of the signature victories while in office so far.
On a visit to the Eastern edge of Europe, Vice President Biden deliberately provoked another US president without mentioning his name: Donald Trump. Biden traveled to Europe to give Putin word of the US and allied power while the former president went to cower before Putin. American values and their allies had Biden stand up for them while Trump remarked Putin was more dependable than both America’s own intellect and law enforcement. Biden incorporated America’s strengths while Trump portrayed the US’s biggest flaw.
Just one year after Trump made our country ashamed while in Helsinki, he combined the wrongdoing by refusing help from Ukraine in an effort to coerce Zelensky into doing politically dirty operations opposing Biden to aid in Trump’s reelection attempts. This was an unlawful deed that finally led to Trump’s first impeachment. According to Trump’s top advisors, he was strongly advised to remove US troops from Europe during this period and throughout the following year.
If Trump had been re-elected, we would be witnessing an American president standing with his Russian counterpart marking the weakening of the West, not its enduring strength. Maybe this perspective, the feeling that the United States was feeble and separated and didn’t worry about Ukraine, wouldn’t lead the battle to keep democracy, inspired Putin to attempt his ill-fated, largely expensive, deeply ill-considered attack last February. It appears probable it had an impact leading to that catastrophic blunder.