President Biden took his “Amtrak Joe” persona to a whole new level as he rode a secret train into Kyiv to meet with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the two leaders walking the capital’s streets even as air raid sirens blared.
Marking the one-year milestone of Ukraine’s sustained defense against the Russian invasion, Biden vowed continued support for Ukraine and claimed a united Western front that had proven far more resilient than Russia and Putin had counted on.
In a series of tweets claiming Zelenksyy and Ukraine had thwarted Putin against all expectations, Biden went so far as to troll the Russian leader, saying Putin “was just plain wrong.”
Putin thought Ukraine was weak and the West was divided.— President Biden (@POTUS) February 20, 2023
He thought he could outlast us.
He was just plain wrong. One year later, here we stand together – united with the people of Ukraine.
“One year later, Kyiv stands,” Biden writes. “Ukraine stands. Democracy stands. America — and the world — stands with Ukraine.”
One year later, Kyiv stands. Ukraine stands. Democracy stands. America — and the world — stands with Ukraine.— President Biden (@POTUS) February 20, 2023
Рік потому Київ стоїть. Україна стоїть. Демократія стоїть. Америка – і світ – стоїть з Україною. pic.twitter.com/6i02u3aFgd
Even Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, who plainly said he wanted to arm and train Ukraine troops with Stinger missile systems even before Russia invaded — believed last March that Biden’s actions to help Ukraine had come “too late.”
Here’s McCarthy talking about arming Ukraine last spring:
“The real challenge here, five years ago, I was sitting in the White House in the Situation Room with Joe Biden as vice president, trying to talk them into sending the Stingers to Ukraine because I just came back from a trip there… Train them and let them defend themselves… That was in the last years of their administration, and you know what else? Months ago, when the president was talking about standing up to Putin, I was on the phone when I said, ‘”Let them have weapons now so they can defend themselves,’ but he wanted to wait until Russia had invaded. What benefit is that? It’s too late in the process.”– Kevin McCarthy
Soon after, the Biden administration and Congress agreed, and McCarthy’s suggestions — not too late by some measures — were put into action. In October as part of a $400 million security package, the US promised to provide Ukraine with “Avenger air defense systems, which use Stinger missiles,” an addition to previous weapons provisions that delivered “capability the U.S. has not previously provided to the Ukrainians.”