A meeting at the top, “woman of” version. The First Lady of the United States, Jill Biden, met with the First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, in Uzhhorod, at a Ukrainian school near the Slovakian border. “I wanted to come for Mother’s Day. I thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people that this war must stop,” she told reporters, saying “the American people stand with the Ukrainian people.”

Jill Biden was in Slovakia this week, including meeting with Ukrainian refugee families, and her foray into Ukraine had been kept secret until the last moment. Jill Biden and Olena Zelenska hugged and the First Lady of the United States presented a bouquet of flowers to the wife of the Ukrainian president.

74,000 Ukrainians still refugees in Slovakia

This is the first time that Olena Zelenska has appeared in public since the start of the conflict on February 24, an American official said. According to the same source, the two ladies have exchanged letters in recent weeks. “First of all, I would like to thank you for a very courageous act,” she said. “Because we understand what it takes for the First Lady of the United States to come here during a war where military operations take place every day, where air-raid sirens sound every day, even today added Olena Zelenska.

A closed-door meeting of the two women lasted about an hour, before they met refugee children working on paper cutouts, accompanied by their mothers. Jill Biden then left for the Slovak border, a country from which she must meet senior officials on Monday, for the last day of her tour. According to figures from the Interior Ministry, around 74,000 Ukrainians remained in Slovakia after their flight, and would like to be able to return to their country when the time comes.

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