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Zelensky Gives Biden Ukrainian Soldier’s Medal on Visit to White House, Biden Gives Ukraine $1.85 Billion

WASHINGTON — Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky kicked off his whirlwind visit to Washington Wednesday — his first trip outside his country since Russia invaded 300 days ago — by presenting President Biden with a medal previously given to a Ukrainian military officer.

“I’m delighted you could make the trip,” Biden, 80, told the 44-year-old Zelensky as the leaders began their bilateral meeting in the Oval Office — referring to his Ukrainian counterpart as “the man of the year” in reference to Time magazine awarding Zelensky that honor earlier this month.

Zelensky, for his part, passed along “all my appreciations from my heart and from the heart of all Ukrainians” to Biden, Congress and “ordinary people” in the US for their support of his country. 

President Zelensky took out the Ukrainian Cross of Military Merit and said that it had been given originally to the captain of a HIMARS rocket launcher battery fighting in the eastern city of Bakhmut.

“He’s very brave and he said ‘Give it to a very brave president.’ And I want to give that, the cross for military merit that [he] won,” Zelensky went on.

Biden accepted the honor, saying it was “undeserved, but much appreciated.”

Zelensky added that the captain had told him “many of his brothers this [HIMARS] system saved. So thank you very much.”

Biden then said that he would return the favor by sending the captain “a command coin,” an apparent reference to the US military’s “challenge” coins.

Zelensky’s motorcade arrived at the White House shortly after 2 p.m. Zelensky was wearing his familiar look of a green sweatshirt and heavy army boots.

See also  Watch: Concerning Moment Biden Freezes Up, 'Looks as If He Is Going to Croak'

Zelensky had disembarked from a US jet 2 hours earlier at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, which is the same airport used by Air Force One. After the private meeting with Biden, the two leaders were due to co-host a White House press conference around 4:30 p.m., before Zelensky was to address a joint meeting of Congress around 7:30 p.m.

The Biden administration just announced the delivery of a powerful Patriot missile defense battery given to the Ukrainian military as part of a new package of $1.85 billion in aid.

Zelensky, a former comedian, gained international fame while leading his country’ s resistance to Russia’s February 24 invasion.



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Ella Ford is a mother of two, a Christian conservative writer with degrees in American History, Social and Behavioral Science and Liberal Studies, based in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.


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