US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met face-to-face at the White House on Wednesday, as Zelenskyy made his first trip outside Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion in February.
During the meeting, Biden told Zelenskyy that the United States "will stay with you as long as it takes" as the country enters what promises to be a brutal winter of war with Russia, according to NBC News.
Biden pledged "unequivocal and unbending support," saying the US will give Ukraine the Patriot Missile battery the country has requested to counter Russian missile and air attacks and much more.
"We understand in our bones that Ukraine’s fight is part of something much bigger," Biden said at a joint press conference after their meeting.
The US President noted that Wednesday was the fourth night of Hanukkah “when Jews honor a small band of warriors fighting a much larger foe” and told Zelenskyy, who is Jewish, "Light will always prevail over darkness."
Zelenskyy, for his part, told Biden, "We need to survive this winter. I know that American leadership will be strong... Regardless of the changes in the Congress, I believe there will be bipartisan and bicameral support."
The Ukrainian President offered Biden and the American people “all my appreciation" and gave him a military medal he said a Ukrainian soldier wanted Biden to have.
“All my appreciations from my heart, from all Ukrainians, to you, for your big support and your leadership,” Zelenskyy said, adding, “From our ordinary people to your ordinary people ... thank you so much.”
The Ukrainian President is slated to meet with other administration officials before his address to Congress, where guests will not be allowed in the House gallery out of security concerns.
In July, Zelenskyy’s wife, Olena Zelenska, spoke before the US House of Representatives and the Senate and appealed to lawmakers to provide more help to her country as it struggles against the Russian invasion.