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Zelensky in Washington: Ukraine's president makes his first overseas trip to the US

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky is traveling to Washington to meet US President Joe Biden on Wednesday.

It is his first trip outside of the country since Russia invaded in February.

The White House acknowledged the trip and said it will give Ukraine a Patriot missile battery to boost its air defense.

Additionally, In addition to meeting with various people, Mr. Zelensky will address Congress.

He posted on Twitter, “On my way to the US to boost Ukraine’s resilience and defense capabilities.”

Mr. Zelensky has visited troops all around Ukraine and frequently receives foreign officials in the country’s capital, Kyiv.

The Ukrainian president has also spoken to foreign leaders by phone and video chat, typically from his Kyiv office.

However, the unexpected journey to a foreign country highlights Ukraine’s connection with the US, which has provided military backing.

Before Ukraine’s president is arrive, the White House announced a new security assistance package for Ukraine worth over $2bn (£1.6bn).

A powerful Patriot missile system will help Ukraine defend its infrastructure from Russian threats. Ukrainian leaders have long requested Western air defense systems.

Russia has been attacking Ukraine’s energy industry, leaving millions in the dark throughout the winter when it is well below freezing.

The White House claimed training Ukrainian forces to utilize the Patriot system in a “third country” “will take some time”.

US lawmakers are working on a package to grant Ukraine more than $40bn (£33bn) in 2023 assistance.

The US has spent more on direct military support since the conflict began than any other nation.

According to President Zelensky, Ukraine spends roughly $5 billion (£4.1 billion) a month on defense.

After a surprise visit to Bakhmut, where Ukrainian and Russian forces have clashed for months, he traveled to Washington.

According to the president, he visited with soldiers and presented honors to the military.

The visit showed defiance and supported Ukrainian forces fighting some of the hardest clashes in recent weeks.

In a video, soldiers presented Mr. Zelensky with a Ukrainian flag with their names on it and requested him to give it to President Biden and Congress.

On the same day, Russian President Vladimir Putin presented medals to invasion participants at the Kremlin.

The US military believes that 100,000 Russian and 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers and 40,000 civilians have died since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

The UN counts 7.8 million Ukrainian refugees throughout Europe, including Russia. The figure excludes people who fled their houses but stayed in Ukraine.


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