First lady Jill Biden made a surprise visit to Ukraine Sunday afternoon and met with Ukraine first lady Olena Zelenska.
“I wanted to come on Mother’s Day,” Biden told Zelenska, according to AP News. “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.”
The first ladies first met in a small classroom, and Zelenska thanked Biden for coming.
“We understand what it takes for the U.S. first lady to come here during a war when military actions are taking place every day, where the air sirens are happening every day — even today.”
Biden left for a political tour of Easter Europe on Thursday. After the two had a private meeting for about an hour, they met with children living in the temporary shelter. The children were crafting gifts for their mothers out of cardboard and tissue paper, CBS News reports.
The visit was “first time a United States first lady has visited a war zone since Laura Bush made a secret, 10-hour visit to Afghanistan in 2008,” according to CNN.
President Joe Biden has not been able to enter the war-torn country yet. Zelenska expressed gratitude for the visit and provided a bouquet of flowers for the fellow first lady.
“We all feel your support and we all feel the leadership of the U.S. president, but we would like to note that the Mother’s Day is a very symbolic day for us because we also feel your love and support during such an important day,” Zelenska said.