Zelensky offers Biden a “gift” from the battlefield

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy gifted his American counterpart Joe Biden a Ukrainian medal for military merit, provided by an officer with the rank of captain of a Hemars missile unit that had been awarded to him.

The Himars missile systems supplied to Ukraine by the United States proved extremely important in August with Ukrainian attacks leading to the expulsion of Russians from Kharkiv and then from Kherson last month, reinforcing Kiev’s strategy of striking Russian command and control points, logistics routes and ammunition warehouses.

The White House said the officer met Zelensky in Bakhmut, a city on the frontline of eastern Ukraine, earlier in the week and asked him to hand over his medal to Biden as an expression of gratitude.

The White House said the officer also wrote a letter to Biden expressing Kiev’s appreciation for the US assistance that contributed to the survival of many.

“Well, it’s not due, but it’s appreciated,” Biden said during the medal from Zelensky.

The White House said Biden later handed over two military currencies to Zelensky, one to the officer and the other to the Ukrainian president.

Biden also pledged to strengthen Ukraine’s air defense and said, “That’s why we’re going to provide Ukraine with a Patriot missile battery and train your troops to be able to use it accurately.”

“You’re the man of the year,” Biden told Zelenskiy about Time magazine’s decision to select him as the person of the year in 2022.

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