On Friday, President Biden visited soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army, which serves with Polish troops and is stationed near the Polish-Ukrainian border. He personally asked the paratroopers about the situation on the border and even tasted a soldier’s pizza in the mess hall. He told the soldiers that they were “the best soldiers in the world” and thanked them for their service.
Addressing the U.S. military, the White House president admired the courage of the Ukrainian people, saying that “the Ukrainian people have demonstrated that they are ready to stand their ground, have set an example of courage,” adding that he meant not only the Ukrainian military, but also ordinary people, including women and children. In particular, Biden cited the example of the first days of the war, when unarmed civilians tried to stop Russian tanks.
Biden also said that not only the fate of Ukraine is being decided now, and the task of the world community is not only to help the Ukrainian people prevent their further destruction. Biden told the military that it is now deciding “what kind of world your children and grandchildren will live in in terms of their freedom.”
According to President Biden, the world is now in a new phase and will no longer be the same. And the main question is whether autocracies or democracy and democratic values will win the world.
The U.S. president’s plane landed Friday afternoon at the airport in Rzeszow, the largest city in southeastern Poland, where U.S. troops are based about an hour from the Ukrainian border.
Right at the Rzeszow-Jasenka airport, Presidents Joe Biden and Andrzej Duda were given a humanitarian briefing on the possibilities of helping Ukrainian civilians sheltering from Russian shelling as well as assisting the growing flow of Ukrainian refugees inside Ukraine.
Poland hopes Biden’s visit will illustrate earlier White House statements that NATO will defend “every inch” of alliance territory. Warsaw is keen to see more U.S. troops stationed on NATO’s eastern flank.
It has been suggested that Poland is likely to float the idea of an international peacekeeping mission to send it to Ukraine. This idea was first proposed by Polish Deputy Prime Minister and ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski during a trip to Kiev.