Ukraine: What Everyone Needs To Know by Serhy Yekelchyk:
As a US senator, Joe Biden has cultivated an interest in European affairs and, more specifically, in the Soviet Union and its successor states. Between 2001 and 2009 he served three times as chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Biden’s foreign policy experience was one of the reasons that Barack Obama picked him as running mate in 2008.
As vice president between 2009 and 2017, Biden visited Ukraine six times, sometimes making a brief stop on a larger tour of Europe or the United States’ strategic allies in Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. The Obama administration saw Ukraine, together with the Republic of Georgia, as the two keystone states in the region; both also experienced Russian aggression. To Ukrainian politicians and the public at large, Biden’s frequent visits symbolized American commitment to building a strong, independent Ukraine free of corruption and rule by cronyism. During one trip to Ukraine, in February 2014, Biden witnessed the revolution on the Maidan entering its crucial stage. All of this made him popular with patriotic Ukrainians, who realized nonetheless that their fight for freedom enjoyed bipartisan support in the United States. The late Republican senator John McCain also visited often and spoke even more strongly in support of the EuroMaidan; there is now a street in the Ukrainian capital named after him.