WASHINGTON — Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Washington Wednesday on his first trip outside his country since Russia invaded 300 days ago.

Zelensky, 44, posted a photo on his Instagram page showing himself disembarking a US jet at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, the same airport used by Air Force One, ahead of an anticipated 2 p.m. arrival at the White House.

The Ukrainian leader, whose plane landed around noon, will meet with President Biden before co-hosting a White House press conference around 4:30 p.m., then giving a speech to a joint meeting of Congress around 7:30 p.m.

As Zelensky touched down, the Biden administration announced the delivery of a powerful Patriot missile defense battery to Ukraine’s military as part of a new $1.85 billion aid package. Plans for Congress to approve more than $40 billion in additional aid to Kyiv will also be discussed by the two leaders.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Washington, D.C. to co-host a White House press conference on Dec. 21.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Washington, D.C. to co-host a White House press conference on Dec. 21.
AP
President Biden welcomed Zelenskiy to the White House before attending a bilateral meeting.
President Biden welcomed Zelenskiy to the White House before attending a bilateral meeting.
Reuters
US President Joe Biden welcomes Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky on the South Lawn of the White House.
Zelensky will meet with President Biden before the press conference around 4:30 p.m., then give a speech to a joint meeting of Congress later in the night.
AFP via Getty Images

The new aid package will also include 500 precision-guided artillery rounds, 37 mine-resistant vehicles, and 2,700 grenade launchers, according to the State Department.

Zelensky is a former comedian who gained international fame leading his country’s resistance to Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion, beating back an initial Russian attempt to seize the capital before making gains in the country’s east.

The Ukrainian leader reportedly refused a US offer to evacuate Kyiv in the opening days of the war, telling US officials, “I need ammunition, not a ride.”

Marines are seen carrying US and Ukrainian flags outside the entrance to the White House in preparation of the White House arrival of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The Biden administration announced the delivery of a powerful Patriot missile defense battery to Ukraine’s military as part of a new $1.85 billion aid package.
AP
A picture of President Biden and President Zelensky of Ukraine.
The new aid package will also include 500 precision-guided artillery rounds and 37 mine-resistant vehicles.
Getty Images

Although Washington has been his top wartime benefactor, Zelensky has had a rocky relationship with Biden.

Before Russia’s invasion, Biden outraged Ukrainian authorities by saying at a Jan. 19 press conference that NATO would treat a “minor incursion” by Russia differently from a full-scale invasion. One Ukrainian official told CNN that it gave a “green light” for Putin to invade, which he did about a month later.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, right, speaks to soldiers at the site of the heaviest battles with the Russian invaders, in Bakhmut, Ukraine.
Zelensky is a former comedian who gained international fame leading his country’s resistance to Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion.
AP
Zelensky posted a photo on his Instagram page showing himself disembarking a US jet at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
Zelensky posted a photo on his Instagram page showing himself disembarking a US jet at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

Volodymyr Zelensky was greeted by a U.S. official in Washington D.C.
Although Washington has been his top wartime benefactor, Zelensky has had a rocky relationship with President Biden.


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Volodymyr Zelensky was greeted by a U.S. military official in Washington D.C.
At the beginning of the Ukraine-Russian War, the Ukrainian leader reportedly refused a US offer to evacuate Kyiv.


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At the time, Zelensky reprimanded Biden in a tweet, writing, “We want to remind the great powers that there are no minor incursions and small nations. Just as there are no minor casualties and little grief from the loss of loved ones. I say this as the President of a great power.”

Biden reportedly further upset Ukrainian officials by warning Zelensky that there was a looming Russian “sack” of Kyiv. The White House denied the accuracy of those reports attributed to Ukrainian officials.

A picture of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke during a meeting of the Russian Defence Ministry Board at the National Defence Control Centre in Moscow.
Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

In June, Biden reportedly lost his temper during a phone call with Zelensky when the Ukrainian leader listed additional materiel his country needed, though the relationship between the two men appears to have improved.

News of Zelensky’s trip to Washington leaked Tuesday afternoon, but the Ukrainian leader himself hinted at a visit when his own country’s media reported that he had received a signed Ukrainian flag from troops fighting against Russia’s invasion to present US leaders.

Zelensky previously visited the White House in September 2021. That trip was overshadowed by the prior month’s chaotic US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.





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