Officials say Biden's wartime visit to Kyiv was sparked by Zelensky's trip to D.C.

President Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv.
(Image credit: Evan Vucci/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

President Biden's clandestine visit to Kyiv on Monday started to come together not long after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky traveled to Washington, D.C., in late December, two people with knowledge of the matter told NBC News.

Biden went to the Ukrainian capital to show solidarity with the country and to bolster the Western alliance that is supporting Ukraine. Administration officials said the American public reacted positively to Zelensky and his address to a joint session of Congress, and this showed the importance of Biden making a similarly major move ahead of the anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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