The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Deep secrecy, high risk: How Zelensky's improbable D.C. visit came together

By Tyler Pager and Yasmeen Abutaleb

23 Dec 2022 · 7 min read

Editor's Note

The Washington Post provides a thrilling inside look at the top-secret planning that enabled Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s “uniquely perilous” visit to Washington.

When a U.S. military aircraft landed on the tarmac in Rzeszow, Poland, on Tuesday, the plane crew thought they were picking up the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and a few high-level Ukrainian officials.

What they didn't know, until they saw him exit a U.S. vehicle, was that one of those officials was Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelensky, who with American help had just completed a dangerous trip from Bakhmut - the site of some of the war's bloodiest fighting, more than 400 miles from Kyiv - to the Polish border for a covertly planned visit to Washington.

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