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Former US Vice President Mike Pence arrives in Ukraine with unannounced visit

29 June, 2023 Thursday
22:37

On Thursday, June 29, the former Vice President and current US presidential candidate, Republican Mike Pence, arrived in Ukraine to show his support

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This is reported by CNN. The politician also confirmed this information on Twitter.

Pence met privately in Kyiv with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy behind closed doors. He noted that his determination to support Ukraine is stronger than ever.

In the Ukrainian capital, Pence visited a children's center for Ukrainian youth from the occupied territories and those forcibly transferred to Russia, honored Ukraine's fallen defenders at the Wall of Remembrance, and toured St. Michael's Cathedral.

Photo: Orthodox Church of Ukraine

At St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery, Pence met with the head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), Epiphanius.

Photo: Orthodox Church of Ukraine

According to the press service of the OCU, the conversation focused on the struggle of the people of Ukraine against the Russian aggressor and the defense of our freedom and independence. In addition, Epiphanius told the guest about the religious situation in Ukraine and the activities of the OCU chaplains.

Photo: Orthodox Church of Ukraine

Pence also visited Bucha, Irpin, and Moshchun in the Kyiv region, which suffered significant damage last year as a result of shelling and violence against civilians during the Russian occupation. He laid flowers at the memorials to those killed in the war.

“The American people are praying with you, supporting you in Ukraine,” Pence told the families he met in Irpin.

“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.”

Mike Pence became the first Republican presidential candidate to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during the current campaign. However, Pence's visit is not the first since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion. In March 2022, Pence visited the Ukrainian border and met with refugees who had fled their homes to escape the violence.

Both trips were organized by Samaritan's Purse, an American evangelical disaster relief charity run by Pastor Franklin Graham. Pence and his wife have previously volunteered with the organization.

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