Jill BIden shows support for Ukraine with sunflower face mask

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First Lady Jill Biden showed her support for Ukraine following Russia’s invasion by wearing a face mask embroidered with a sunflower — the country’s national flower. 

The 70-year-old made the political fashion statement when she joined her husband, President Joe Biden, at an event celebrating Black History Month in the East Room of the White House on Monday. 

Dr. Biden donned a $1,390 white and black polka-dot midi dress and a $2,190 matching blazer by Brandon Maxwell, which she paired with a white face mask featuring a sunny yellow sunflower embroidered on the side. 

First Lady Jill Biden wore a face mask with a sunflower at a White House event on Monday to show her support for Ukraine

First Lady Jill Biden wore a face mask with a sunflower at a White House event on Monday to show her support for Ukraine 

The White House said that she chose to wear the mask because the sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine, and she wanted to express her support for the Ukrainian people

The White House said that she chose to wear the mask because the sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine, and she wanted to express her support for the Ukrainian people 

The White House said that she chose to wear the mask because the sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine, The Guardian reported.   

Dr. Biden wanted to express her support for the Ukrainian people as they fight to protect their country against Russian aggression, the White House told the press pool.

The first lady topped off the look with bright pink stilettos and pink flower earrings featuring a rhinestone-encrusted center. The baubles peeked out from underneath her shoulder-length blonde hair as she walked.  

The Bidens entered the East Room with Cateo Hilton, a student and a junior mentor at Life Pieces to Masterpieces, an after-school program for young black men and boys in Washington, D.C.    

Dr. Biden introduced Vice President Kamala Harris at the event, earning a few laughs after she accidentally referred to her as the president.  

Dr. Biden paired the mask with a white and black polka-dot midi dress and matching blazer by Brandon Maxwell

Dr. Biden paired the mask with a white and black polka-dot midi dress and matching blazer by Brandon Maxwell

The first lady's white mask featured an sunny yellow sunflower embroidered on the side

The first lady’s white mask featured an sunny yellow sunflower embroidered on the side 

Dr. Biden topped off her designer outfit with a pair of bright pink stilettos

Dr. Biden topped off her designer outfit with a pair of bright pink stilettos 

‘I just said that to make you laugh,’ she joked, playing up the blunder. 

President Biden was later introduced by Hilton, who will be attending Delaware State University after he graduates high school. Biden, who grew up in Delaware, was thrilled by the news and gave him a standing ovation. 

Dr. Biden later put her sunflower mask back on and left the East Room holding hands with her husband. 

Sunflowers have gone from being Ukraine’s national flower to a symbol of Ukrainian resistance in recent days.  

Last Thursday, a video of a Ukrainian woman telling Russian soldiers to put sunflower seeds in their pockets so flowers would grow in Ukraine after they died in battle went viral.

While Dr. Biden made a political fashion statement with her sunflower mask, her husband, President Joe Biden, opted for a standard black medical face covering

While Dr. Biden made a political fashion statement with her sunflower mask, her husband, President Joe Biden, opted for a standard black medical face covering 

The first couple was joined by student Cateo Hilton as they headed to the East Room to attend the event celebrating Black History Month

The first couple was joined by student Cateo Hilton as they headed to the East Room to attend the event celebrating Black History Month 

Hilton is a junior mentor at Life Pieces to Masterpieces, an after-school program for young black men and boys in Washington, D.C.

Hilton is a junior mentor at Life Pieces to Masterpieces, an after-school program for young black men and boys in Washington, D.C.

The clip was posted on Twitter by the news site UkraineWorld and has been viewed more than 8.4 million times. BBC News also shared the video with English subtitles. 

‘Take these seeds so sunflowers grow when you die here,’ the woman told the Russian soldiers, according to the BBC’s translation.  

‘Guys, put these seeds into your pockets. Take these seeds,’ she continued. ‘You will die here with them. You’ve come to my land … Do you understand? You’re occupiers. You’re enemies. And from now on, you’re cursed.’

Protestors around the world have taken to carrying or wearing sunflowers while activists such as David Hogg are adding sunflower emojis to their Twitter bios, Insider reported. 

Dr. Biden’s show of solidarity comes just one day after she urged anyone whose mental health was suffering due to the conflict in Ukraine to reach out for help.

Hilton will be attending Delaware State University after he graduates high school. The news thrilled President Biden, who grew up in Delaware

Hilton will be attending Delaware State University after he graduates high school. The news thrilled President Biden, who grew up in Delaware 

Dr. Biden also donned pink flower earrings featuring a rhinestone-encrusted center

Dr. Biden also donned pink flower earrings featuring a rhinestone-encrusted center

Dr. Biden introduced Vice President Kamala Harris at the jovial event

Dr. Biden introduced Vice President Kamala Harris at the jovial event 

‘I imagine many of us are feeling the weight of what is happening in Ukraine over recent days,’ she wrote at the start of her Twitter thread. ‘Parents are sitting in front of the television with their children, explaining reports from thousands of miles away.

‘Teachers are standing in front of classrooms, answering questions of “why” and “what is going to happen next?” Our military families are acutely aware that events taking place in Europe may have a rippling effect on the future of their loved ones in uniform.’

‘In this difficult time there are no easy answers, and that may cause a feeling of uncertainty,’ she wrote. ‘It is okay to ask for help.’

She encouraged people to reach out to MentalHealth.gov and told military service members and their families to seek counseling at Military OneSource and Veteran Affairs.

Dr. Biden added that she and President Joe Biden were praying for ‘the brave and proud people of Ukraine.’

Last week, a video of a Ukrainian woman telling Russian soldiers to put sunflower seeds in their pockets so flowers would grow in Ukraine after they died in battle went viral

Last week, a video of a Ukrainian woman telling Russian soldiers to put sunflower seeds in their pockets so flowers would grow in Ukraine after they died in battle went viral

Sunflowers have become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance in recent days. A German protester is pictured wearing a headdress with sunflowers while protesting the war in Ukraine

Sunflowers have become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance in recent days. A German protester is pictured wearing a headdress with sunflowers while protesting the war in Ukraine 

‘Our hearts are with our troops and our military families, including those who are stationed throughout Europe demonstrating solidarity with our Allies. We are profoundly grateful for your service,’ she wrote.

Early Monday morning, blasts were heard both in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, and the country’s second-biggest city of Kharkiv after a mainly quiet night, according to information provided by Ukrainian officials who released a brief statement on the Telegram messaging app. 

Several rounds of gunfire can be heard in the video footage that was shot in the darkness in Kharkiv and posted to Twitter with the message: ‘Kharkiv airport and residential areas are under heavy shelling.’

An air raid alert sounded in the city at about 4:30 a.m. local time with residents urged to head to the nearest shelter.

A missile also hit a residential building in the center of Chernihiv, a city about 100 miles north of Kyiv, causing fire to break out on the lower floors of the building.

The sunflower emblem of Ukrainian resistance is seen on the walls of the Russian embassy

The sunflower emblem of Ukrainian resistance is seen on the walls of the Russian embassy 

A woman is picture taking a selfie while holding a flower at a U.S. protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine

A woman is picture taking a selfie while holding a flower at a U.S. protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine 

A woman is picture holding up sunflowers at a protest in Michigan. Nearly 40,000 Michegan residents are of Ukrainian descent

A woman is picture holding up sunflowers at a protest in Michigan. Nearly 40,000 Michegan residents are of Ukrainian descent 

‘A rocket hit a residential building in the center of Chernihiv. A fire broke out, two lower floors are on fire. The number of injured is currently unknown,’ a statement on Twitter read.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned the country faces a ‘crucial’ 24 hours as Russia throws even more ground forces at Kyiv.

Satellite images overnight showed a three-mile-long convoy heading towards the capital after Russian President Vladimir Putin put his nuclear deterrent forces on ‘alert.’

Russian military vehicles were pictured moving in despite officials agreeing to hold peace talks at the border with Belarus later that day. 

The images, released by Maxar Technologies, showed a deployment of hundreds of military vehicles moving in the direction of the Ukrainian capital from approximately 40 miles away.

A massive convoy of Russian troops headed toward Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, on Monday

A massive convoy of Russian troops headed toward Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, on Monday 

Citizens of Kyiv have resorted to arming themselves amid fears of an imminent invasion by Russian troops. (Pictured: satellite image showing Russian army heading to the capital of Ukraine)

Citizens of Kyiv have resorted to arming themselves amid fears of an imminent invasion by Russian troops. (Pictured: satellite image showing Russian army heading to the capital of Ukraine)

It was reported that a missile hit a residential building in the center of Chernihiv, a Ukrainian city about 100 miles north of Kyiv, causing fire to break out on the lower floors of the building

It was reported that a missile hit a residential building in the center of Chernihiv, a Ukrainian city about 100 miles north of Kyiv, causing fire to break out on the lower floors of the building

It was reported that a missile hit a residential building in the center of Chernihiv, a Ukrainian city about 100 miles north of Kyiv, causing fire to break out on the lower floors of the building 

Delegations from Russia and Ukraine held talks in Belarus on Monday. After several hours, they returned to their respective capitals. The outcome of the talks could not immediately be determined, the New York Times reported. 

President Zelensky’s office had earlier said the two delegations would meet ‘without preconditions’ near the Pripyat River, to the north of Chernobyl, in a deal brokered in a phone call with Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.

A spokesperson added that Lukashenko has taken responsibility for ensuring that all planes, helicopters, and missiles stationed on Belarusian territory remain on the ground during the Ukrainian delegation’s travel, talks, and return.

Zelensky described his discussion with Lukashenko as ‘very substantive,’ adding that he had made it clear he did not want troops to move from Belarus to Ukraine, and Lukashenko ‘assured him of this.’  

‘I do not really believe in the outcome of this meeting, but let them try, so that later not a single citizen of Ukraine has any doubt that I, as president, tried to stop the war,’ he said. 

The message came as Putin declared, in his own televised address, that he had ordered troops operating the nuclear deterrent onto a ‘special regime of duty’ in light of ‘aggressive statements’ from NATO leaders and ‘unfriendly economic actions.’

Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that Ukraine faces a'crucial' 24 hours as Russia throws even more ground forces at Kyiv

Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that Ukraine faces a ‘crucial’ 24 hours as Russia throws even more ground forces at Kyiv

The convoy of thousands of Russian troops heading to Kyiv is three and a quarter miles long and is believed to be carrying fuel, logistics and armored vehicles. (Pictured: Russian President Vladimir Putin)

The convoy of thousands of Russian troops heading to Kyiv is three and a quarter miles long and is believed to be carrying fuel, logistics and armored vehicles. (Pictured: Russian President Vladimir Putin)

Mothers fleeing with their children from Ukraine stand at Nyugati station, after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, in Budapest, Hungary

Mothers fleeing with their children from Ukraine stand at Nyugati station, after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, in Budapest, Hungary

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg responded: ‘This is dangerous rhetoric.’

Ukraine filed a lawsuit against Russia at the Hague, with Zelensky requesting that the UN International Court of Justice orders Russia to stop its attack against Ukraine and starts trials soon.

The United States condemned Putin’s order to put his nuclear forces on high alert as dangerous and ‘unacceptable.’

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield also said nothing was ‘off the table’ when asked about the possibility of Putin being tried in international court as a war criminal.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, meanwhile, dismissed Putin’s announcement as a ‘distraction’ from the struggle his troops are facing in Ukraine. 

This map shows the strikes Russia is so-far known to have carried out against Ukraine, with more explosions rocking the country in the early hours of Sunday morning

He also cast doubt on possible negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian delegations to try to resolve the crisis.

‘There’s nothing I’ve seen so far in his behavior that leads me to think that he could possibly be sincere,’ he said.

When Russian troops invaded Ukraine on Thursday, the city of 2.8 million people initially reacted with concern but also a measure of self-possession.

However, nerves started fraying when grocery stores began closing and the city’s famously deep subway system turned its stations into bomb shelters.

Ukraine’s health ministry said on Sunday that 352 civilians, including 14 children, had been killed since the beginning of Russia’s invasion. It also said that 1,684 people, including 116 children, had been wounded.

At least 200,000 people have fled Ukraine to three countries, with 150,000 said to have crossed into Poland alone.



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