OAN’s Noah Herring
10:42 AM – Thursday, June 29, 2023
Former Vice President Mike Pence met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during his visit to the country.
Pence met with Zelenskyy on Thursday at the presidential palace in Kyiv to offer his support to the country. The former vice president also visited three other cities and villages outside of Kyiv that had been heavily damaged from shelling and general chaos while under Russian occupation last year.
Pence analyzed the wreckage, met with locals, and laid flowers at memorials for those who had lost their lives in the war.
“I believe America’s the leader of the free world,” said Pence. “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 has been a strong supporter of Ukraine since Russia’s invasion. However, the ongoing war has caused growing controversy over what America’s role should be regarding the conflict among members of congress, as well as 2024 GOP presidential candidates.
This trip marks the second time Pence has traveled to Ukraine. In March 2022, Pence traveled to the Ukrainian border to meet with refugees who were attempting to escape the violence.
Both trips that he went on were organized by the Samaritan’s Purse, an American disaster relief charity. Pence and his wife reportedly partnered with the organization to make his travels possible.
The second trip comes as the war has continued to ravage both nations for over a year now. Kyiv launched a counteroffensive as Russia has dealt with the repercussions of the Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary group that recently challenged Russian President Vladimir Putin’s authority.
Pence is now the first 2024 Republican presidential candidate to meet with Zelenskyy during his campaign.
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