Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Jill Biden: The resilience of Ukrainian refugees ‘inspires me’

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by Darlene Superville

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – Jill Biden said she will be heading to Romania and Slovakia later this week to visit with Ukrainian families who risked their lives after Russia invaded their country. fled, in hopes of sending the message, despite language barriers, “that his resilience inspires me.”

The White House announced late Sunday that the First Lady would spend Mother’s Day visiting refugees from Ukraine, most of whom are women and children.

The May 8 meeting will be held in Slovakia. Biden is scheduled to depart Washington late Thursday on a five-day visit that will also take her to Romania. The two countries share a border with Ukraine, which has spent the past two months fighting a military offensive by Russia. Romania and Slovakia are also members of NATO.

She discussed travel Monday while visiting a costume exhibition at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, saying she would spend a US holiday with Ukrainian families dedicated to honoring mothers who were displaced by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war. went.

Biden, a mother of three, said: “I myself as a mother can only imagine the grief the family is feeling.” “I know we may not share a language, but I hope that I can express in a way greater than words, that their resilience inspires me, that they are not forgotten, and that All Americans still stand with him.”

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The visit will mark Biden’s latest show of solidarity with Ukraine.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, some 5.5 million Ukrainians, mostly women and children, have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded its smaller neighbor on February 24. Many have settled in neighboring countries or relocated elsewhere in Europe.

During the visit, Biden will also meet with US service members, US embassy personnel, humanitarian aid workers and teachers, the White House said.

After arriving in Romania on Friday, she is scheduled to meet with US service members at the US military installation Mihail Kogalnicuy Air Base near the Black Sea.

The schedule then takes him to the Romanian capital Bucharest on Saturday where he meets with government officials, US embassy staff, humanitarian aid workers and teachers who are helping to teach displaced Ukrainian children. The first lady will travel to Slovakia to meet staff at the US Embassy in the capital, Bratislava.

On May 8, Biden will travel to Koसिसice and Wisne Nemeke in Slovakia to meet with refugees, humanitarian aid workers and local Slovakians who are supporting Ukrainian families seeking asylum in Slovakia.

She plans to meet with members of the government of Slovakia on 9 May before returning to the United States.

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President Joe Biden visited with Ukrainian refugees during a halt in Poland in March.

The trip will be the first woman’s second overseas trip to represent the United States, following her trip to Tokyo last year for the delayed opening of the 2020 Olympic Games. The visit will also mark his latest gesture of solidarity with Ukraine.

Four days after Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine, Biden appeared at a White House event wearing a face mask embroidered with Ukraine’s national flower sunflower.

He invited Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markova, to sit with him during President Biden’s State of the Union address in March and sewed sunflowers into the sleeves of the cobalt blue dress he wore for the occasion.

Jill Biden spoke at the Met on Monday about fashion as a means of communication. She said she sewed a sunflower applique to the cuffs of her dress because she knew only what she wore would be written about her for the president’s big speech.

“And that night, sitting next to the Ukrainian ambassador, I knew I was sending a message, without saying a word, that Ukraine was in our hearts and we stood with them,” she said.

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