Ukrainian official invites Biden to Kyiv next week 'if he is brave'

Senior adviser to Zelensky invites Biden to Kyiv next week ‘if he is brave’ when the commander-in-chief visits Europe for NATO summit

  • Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief diplomatic adviser has invited Joe Biden to visit Kyiv as he travels to Brussels for a NATO summit next week
  • The adviser, Ihor Zhovka, said during a CNN interview Friday that ‘one should not be afraid to [travel to Kyiv] if you are brave’
  • Zhovka also claimed Zelensky is ‘disappointed’ in the U.S. and NATO’s apparent rejection to fulfill the nation’s request to impose a no-fly zone over its airspace
  • Additionally, he has asked Biden to assist with facilitating Ukraine’s acquisition of fighter jets and missile defense systems
  • It is unclear if the American president will accept the invitation 
  • An Ukrainian official has invited President Joe Biden to visit Kyiv next week amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of the country, saying ‘one should not be afraid to – if you are brave.’  

    Ihor Zhovka, President Volodymyr Zelensky‘s chief diplomatic adviser, has asked America’s commander-in-chief to visit Ukraine in person when he travels to Brussels for a NATO summit next week.  

    Zhovka has requested that Biden facilitate Ukraine’s upcoming acquisition of U.S. weapons, which include fighter jets and missiles.

    The adviser also slammed Ukraine’s allies, alleging Zelensky is ‘disappointed’ in the U.S. and NATO’s apparent rejection to fulfill the nation’s request to impose a no-fly zone over its airspace.  

    ‘If NATO is not able to provide us with a humanitarian no-fly zone, please provide us with fighter jets, please provide us with anti-missile air defense systems,’ Zhovka said during a CNN interview, Mediaite reported. ‘So, my president will keep doing this. He spoke about this in the U.S. Congress. He’s talking about this on a daily basis.’ 

    Biden, who has not publicly issued a decision on Zelensky’s request, was warned earlier this week that imposing the no-fly zone would be an ‘act of war’. It remains unclear how Biden will proceed.

    Ukrainian President Zelensky’s chief diplomatic adviser Ihor Zhovkva (pictured) has invited President Joe Biden to visit Kyiv next week amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of the country, saying ‘one should not be afraid to – if you are brave’

    Zhovka has asked Biden (pictured) to visit Zelensky in person when he travels to Brussels for a NATO summit next week

    He explained that Zelenksy (pictured) is 'disappointed' in the U.S. and NATO's apparent rejection to fulfill the nation's request to impose a no-fly zone over its airspace

    Zhovka has asked Biden (left) to visit Zelensky (right) in person when he travels to Brussels for a NATO summit next week. He explained that Zelenksy is ‘disappointed’ in the U.S. and NATO’s apparent rejection to fulfill Ukraine’s request to impose a no-fly zone over its airspace

    Zhovka also noted how leaders of three other nations have visited Kyiv and met with Zelensky. 

    ‘Well, you know, just this week, three prime ministers of three friendly nations – Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovenia – visited, personally, Kyiv, and they met personally with President Zelensky,’ he responded. 

    ‘So why [doesn’t] President Biden come to Ukraine to meet with the president?’

    When questioned about the danger of Biden traveling to Kyiv, Zhovka said: ‘Well, definitely it is dangerous when you have a war against my country, a war in Europe.’ 

    It is unclear if Biden will accept Zhovka and Zelensky’s invitation, which comes as Ukraine is set to receive a new shipment of U.S. weapons within days, including javelin and stinger missiles.

    ‘The (weapons) will be on the territory of our country in the nearest future. We are talking about days,’ Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov confirmed in a televised interview Saturday.

    Ukraine’s allies have delivered planeloads of weapons shipments to bolster its military against the Russian invasion. Russia has criticized such deliveries from NATO member states.

    It is unclear if Biden will accept Zhovka and Zelensky's invitation, which comes as Ukraine is set to receive a new shipment of U.S. weapons within days, including javelin and stinger missiles (Pictured: A residential block destroyed by Russian Missile Strike in Kyiv as seen on Saturday)

    It is unclear if Biden will accept Zhovka and Zelensky’s invitation, which comes as Ukraine is set to receive a new shipment of U.S. weapons within days, including javelin and stinger missiles (Pictured: A residential block destroyed by Russian Missile Strike in Kyiv as seen on Saturday)

    Ukraine's allies have delivered planeloads of weapons shipments to bolster its military against the Russian invasion. Smoke is pictured rising over Kyiv on Saturday

    Ukraine’s allies have delivered planeloads of weapons shipments to bolster its military against the Russian invasion. Smoke is pictured rising over Kyiv on Saturday








    Ukraine and the West claim that Russia’s invasion is floundering in part due to fierce Ukrainian resistance, poor planning and low morale among Russian forces. 

    According to one US intelligence estimate, 7,000 Russian troops, including four generals, have been killed since the Russian invasion on February 24 and between 14,000 and 21,000 troops have been injured in the fighting.

    Moscow’s Defense Ministry says that less than 500 soldiers have been killed.  

    Ukraine’s military has also suffered heavy losses, likely to be much higher than the 1,300 troops which Kyiv has confirmed as killed.

    According to Ukraine’s military, Russia has lost 466 tanks, 115 helicopters, 914 vehicles, 95 aircraft, 213 artillery systems, 44 anti-aircraft weapons and 60 fuel tanks. Russia has not responded to Kyiv’s latest estimates, and the information could not be independently verified.

    The estimates come as Russia used its latest hypersonic missile for the first time during its attack on Ukraine, a military spokesman said.

    Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the hypersonic missiles, known as Kinzhal, destroyed an underground warehouse storing missiles and aviation ammunition of Ukrainian troops in the western Ivano-Frankivsk region.

    Konashenkov also said the Russian forces used the anti-ship missile system Bastion to strike Ukrainian military facilities near the Black Sea port of Odesa.  

    Ukrainian soldiers (top) stand guard on a bridge in front of a damaged Russian army car Saturday on the road that leads east of Kyiv

    Ukrainian soldiers (top) stand guard on a bridge in front of a damaged Russian army car Saturday on the road that leads east of Kyiv

    Ukrainians are inspecting a building in Kyiv on Saturday that was partially damaged by Russian missiles

    Ukrainians are inspecting a building in Kyiv on Saturday that was partially damaged by Russian missiles








    The World Health Organisation said it has verified 43 attacks on hospitals and health facilities, with 12 people killed and 34 injured.

    US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said on Thursday that American officials were evaluating potential war crimes and that if the intentional targeting of civilians by Russia is confirmed, there will be ‘massive consequences’.

    The United Nations political chief, undersecretary-general, Rosemary DiCarlo, also called for an investigation into civilian casualties, reminding the UN Security Council that international humanitarian law bans direct attacks on civilians.

    She said many of the daily attacks battering Ukrainian cities ‘are reportedly indiscriminate’ and involve the use of ‘explosive weapons with a wide impact area’. DiCarlo said the devastation in Mariupol and Kharkiv ‘raises grave fears about the fate of millions of residents of Kyiv and other cities facing intensifying attacks’.

    Hundreds of civilians were said to have taken shelter in a grand, columned theatre in the city’s centre when it was hit on Wednesday by a Russian airstrike. On Friday, their fate was still uncertain, with conflicting reports on whether anyone had emerged from the rubble. 

    Officials say communications are disrupted across the city and movement is difficult because of shelling and fighting.