First Lady Dr. Jill Biden paid a visit to western Ukraine Sunday, offering her Ukrainian counterpart, Olena Zelenska, warm wishes for Mother’s Day while reassuring her that the U.S. stands with Ukraine, as Russia’s brutal invasion of the country drags into another month.
The occasion also marked the first time Zelenska was seen in public since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on Feb. 24.
Dr. Biden told Zelenska, “I wanted to come on Mother’s Day. I thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people that this war has to stop and this war has been brutal and that the people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine.”
Dr. Biden spent about two hours in Ukraine, traveling to the town of Uzhhorod, about a 10-minute drive from a Slovakian border village where she had toured a border processing facility.
Both first ladies also visited with families sheltering in a former school, as children made tissue paper bears as Mother’s Day gifts.
Zelenska and her two children have been staying at an undisclosed location for their safety.
Meanwhile, U2 frontman Bono and his bandmate Edge popped up in a subway station in Kyiv, providing a temporary break from the harsh realities of the war in Ukraine. About 100 people took in the experience, as they shelter in the once bustling commuter hub.
The band tweeted that the surprise performance came at the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people. Bono and Edge played hits including Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me,” replacing “Me” with “Ukraine” and “Angel of Harlem.”
These visits come as President Joe Biden and G7 world leaders joined each other on a virtual conference Sunday afternoon with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, where the leaders announced they will either ban or phase out the use of Russian oil in order to punish Moscow for invading Ukraine.
The U.S. also unveiled sanctions against Gazprombank executives and other businesses.