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Kyiv mayor says Boris Johnson visit shows who 'real friends' are as White House dismisses Biden trip

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Sunday that Ukraine ‘essentially won the battle of Kyiv’ after Russian forces were forced to retreat from the capital city’s suburbs.

‘They’ve protected their city, and that is because of their bravery, their courage but it is also because of the supplies, the military equipment, everything we’ve expedited — $1.7 billion’s worth, from the United States,’ Psaki said on Fox News.

It comes just a day after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stunned the world by embarking on a secretly-planned trip to Kyiv where he toured the streets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The city’s mayor, Vitaly Klitschko, said Johnson’s visit showed the world who the war-ravaged country’s ‘real friends’ are.’

Meanwhile, the White House again dismissed the notion that President Joe Biden will visit Ukraine or Kyiv in the near future — despite the country’s leaders openly inviting him to do so.  

The back-and-forth comes against the backdrop of mounting war crimes accusations against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his troops. 

Scenes of devastation left behind following Russia’s retreat from the Kyiv suburbs show bodies strewn carelessly through the streets and in shallow mass graves — some with hands bound behind their back and an execution-style bullet hole in the head, others charred and burned. Survivors have recounted stories of horrific sexual assault against women and children.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki lauded the Ukrainians for pushing Russian forces out of Kyiv in an interview on Fox News Sunday

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki lauded the Ukrainians for pushing Russian forces out of Kyiv in an interview on Fox News Sunday

On Friday, Ukrainian officials say a Russian rocket attack killed at least 50 people and injured potentially hundreds more at a civilian railway station.

The train station in Kramatorsk, a large transit hub in eastern Ukraine, was packed with 4,000 people — mostly women, children and the elderly — trying to save themselves by fleeing the war, the town’s mayor said.

The UK’s Johnson took the train from Poland to Ukraine the following day.

‘This visit was very important signal for our partners that Kyiv, much more safety right now, and also very important signal that Great Britain stay together with Ukraine, support Ukraine — support our country in the fight for our freedom, for our independency,’ Klitschko told ABC News’ This Week.

‘That’s why we appreciate for humanitarian support, for political support and weapon support. It’s very, very important for us in this critical time and we see who real friends of Ukraine.’

Late last month, one of Zelensky’s deputies called on Biden to visit Ukraine while he was in Europe for a NATO summit if he was ‘brave.’

But on Sunday Klitschko said he understood it was a ‘safety decision’ — though he did leave the door open by stating that Ukraine would always be ‘happy to see’ friends.

Biden officials have been hesitant however to say if the US president will visit Kyiv, as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pictured doing here on Saturday

Biden officials have been hesitant however to say if the US president will visit Kyiv, as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pictured doing here on Saturday

‘We’re very guest-friendly people and we would be very happy to see our friends in our city, in the capital of Ukraine,’ he told ABC.

‘But I understand, today, in the unusual situation when Ukraine is in war, it’s safety decision of security service, and everyone decide by himself to come into Kyiv or not.’

The US president visited Poland in late March where he met with Polish and Ukrainian officials, as well as Ukrainian civilians fleeing Russia’s attack. He said on the trip that he wanted to cross the border into the war zone but ‘they will not let me.’

On Sunday, Biden’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told NBC News’ Meet the Press that there was still no plan to travel to Kyiv.

‘President Biden doesn’t currently have any plans to travel to Kyiv. But what I will tell you is, he sits in the Oval Office and in the Situation Room on a daily basis, organizing and coordinating the world when it comes to the delivery of weapons,’ Sullivan said. 

Host Chuck Todd pressed him again, ‘Would you rule it out? If there was a reason to go, he would get there?’

Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said he understood the'security' concerns about not letting Biden travel to Ukraine but said they are very'guest-friendly people'

Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said he understood the ‘security’ concerns about not letting Biden travel to Ukraine but said they are very ‘guest-friendly people’

‘President Biden has been to Kyiv before. He looks forward to going to Kyiv again. But we’re not currently planning a trip,’ Sullivan said. 

Johnson’s Saturday visit was meant to be kept secret until he had left the war zone, but Ukraine’s embassy in the United Kingdom accidentally broke the news on Twitter with a picture of the two leaders seated across from each other in the ravaged nation’s capital.

Biden said during a visit to Warsaw last month that he wanted to cross the border into Ukraine but was advised against it

Biden said during a visit to Warsaw last month that he wanted to cross the border into Ukraine but was advised against it

He’s the only western head of state to have traveled there since the invasion began on February 24.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer traveled to Kyiv for a one-day visit earlier on Saturday. 

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen was in Ukraine on Friday, where she was taken to Bucha to see the massive scale of atrocities against civilian residents there. 

Von der Leyen, who was reportedly moved by the devastation, said a decision on Ukraine’s European Union membership could come in ‘a matter of weeks’ rather than years. 

The leaders of Slovenia, Poland and the Czech Republic also visited Kyiv in recent days.  

Putin’s bloody and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has been going on for more than 46 days since he first ordered troops to ‘demilitarize’ and ‘de-Nazify’ the former Soviet state. 

As accusations of war crimes mount against Kremlin forces for their alleged targeting of civilians, Russia acknowledged the growing toll the fighting is having on its own people for the first time late last week.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Sky News on Thursday that Russia has faced ‘significant losses of troops and it’s a huge tragedy for us’ — after for weeks being shadowy and vague about its military casualties. 

Psaki said Sunday the admission was ‘significant’ for ‘a government that it known for their use of propaganda.’

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