Biden visits Ukraine’s capital Kiev as air raid sirens sound

Mr. Biden arrived in Kyiv at a pivotal moment in the battle at home and abroad. Some staunch US allies have pressured Ukraine to negotiate a peace deal. In the US, some Republican lawmakers have called for an end to what they call a “blank check” for the war effort.

Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll A survey of public support for aid to Ukraine last week found that 48 percent of Americans favor sending weapons, up from 60 percent last May. But Mr. Biden tried to reassure Ukrainians. “For all the disagreements in our Congress on some issues, there is remarkable agreement in support of Ukraine,” he said.

On Tuesday morning, Mr. Biden is scheduled to meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda, and later that afternoon he will deliver a speech from the Warsaw Citadel. Russian President Vladimir V. Putin is expected to speak on the same day, creating a split-screen image of the two leaders making their separate arguments about the war.

Russia’s state media cited Mr. Biden’s visit quickly began to take advantage. “We are not at war with Ukraine, certainly not with the Ukrainian people,” RIA Novosti news agency quoted an analyst as saying. “Kyiv officials are a tool of the collective West.”

Mr. Biden’s visit to Kiev comes at the height of those countries’ wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald J. Trump recalled the secret flights he took on the plane. But bringing a president into Ukraine without U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, much less control of the airspace, presented a broader security challenge. US warplanes were flying near the border with Poland, but did not enter Ukrainian airspace, officials said.

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Mr. Zelensky made his own high-level visit to Washington before Christmas last year, his first outside Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion, where he appealed to Western leaders for more support. Mr. As with Biden’s trip to Ukraine, Mr. Zelensky’s visit was also kept secret until the day before his arrival for security reasons.

Mr. Two days after Zelensky’s speech, Congress approved nearly $50 billion in additional emergency aid to Ukraine. That pushed the total amount of U.S. aid to Ukraine since the start of the war past $100 billion.

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