Former Vice President Mike Pence made a surprise visit to Ukraine on Thursday, meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to show support for his country in the face of Russia’s invasion.
At the presidential palace in Kyiv, Pence told Zelensky that the United States would continue to stand with Ukraine “until victory is achieved but then justice is also achieved,” according to CNN.
Pence also visited the villages of Bucha, Irpin and Moschun, to see firsthand the damage that they have undergone from violence and shelling during the past year. He also met with locals and toured memorials for those killed in the war.
“I believe America’s the leader of the free world,” Pence told NBC News. “But coming here just as a private citizen — being able to really see firsthand the heroism of the Ukrainian soldiers holding the line in those woods, see the heroism of the people here in Irpin that held back the Russian army, to see families whose homes were literally shelled in the midst of an unconscionable and unprovoked Russian invasion — just steels my resolve to do my part, to continue to call for strong American support for our Ukrainian friends and allies.”
Pence’s visit comes as Ukraine has begun its counteroffensive, and the recent Wagner rebellion in Russia. He is also trying to win the Republican party’s nomination for 2024.