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how Biden got to kyiv

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The plane, a smaller version of the one typically used by US presidents on international trips, was parked far from where Biden would usually board it. And a revealing detail: the blinds on all the windows had been lowered.

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Fifteen minutes later, Biden, a handful of agents in charge of his security, a small medical team, his closest advisers and two journalists who had sworn not to say anything, left for Ukraine, almost a year after the Russian invasion.

The President of the United States is perhaps one of the most scrutinized people on the planet. Countless journalists follow him wherever he goes, be it to mass or international summits, and every word he says in public is recorded, transcribed and published.

In this case, however, the group of 13 radio, television, photo and print reporters who regularly accompanies him on trips abroad was reduced to two: Sabrina Siddiqui, a staff writer for the Wall Street Journal, and Evan Vucci, a photographer for the American news agency Associated Press.

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When the White House allowed her to publish details, Siddiqui said that she and Vucci were summoned to Andrews Air Force Base, on the outskirts of the US capital, at 02:15.

Upon arrival, they had to hand over their phones, which were not returned to them until Biden arrived in kyiv, some 24 hours later.


STRATEGY. President Joe Biden tries to decompress the border with Mexico where thousands of people arrive every day with the aim of crossing into the United States.

First they flew for about seven hours from Washington to the US military base in Ramstein, Germany, where they stopped to refuel. Here, too, the window shades remained down and the travelers did not leave the plane.

The destination of the second flight was the Rzeszow-Jasionka airport, located in southeastern Poland and converted since the war in Ukraine into an international hub from which billions of dollars worth of arms and ammunition, including American ones, are channeled to the ukrainians

During all that time, Siddiqui and Vucci had not seen Biden. They also did not see him at the Polish airport, nor when they got into a van that was part of a caravan there.

Reporters from the presidential entourage usually go in motorcades, but this time there were no sirens or anything to announce that the US president was heading to Przemysl Glowny, the Polish train station near the Ukrainian border.

It was already 9:15 p.m. local time when the caravan stopped in front of a train that had eight carriages. Reporters were told to address him, even without having seen Biden.

The train followed the route along which an enormous amount of aid has been transported to Ukraine, but also along which, in the other direction, millions of Ukrainian women and children have fled the conflict.

Most of the people on board, according to Siddiqui, were part of the “strong security device.”

This 10-hour trip to Ukraine, however, was anything but a typical drive for a US president: It took place in a war zone and, unlike previous presidential visits to Afghanistan or Iraq, US troops provided no security. The train arrived in kyiv at dawn.

Biden, who had last visited the Ukrainian capital when he was vice president of Barack Obama (2009-2017), disembarked at around 08:07 local time. “It’s good to be back in kyiv.”

Source: Ambito

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