First lady Jill Biden visited with Ukrainian women and children in Slovakia on Mother’s Day, listening to their harrowing stories about escaping Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Biden assured the refugees in Kosice that “the hearts of the American people” are with them.

One mother told the first lady how she struggled to explain the war to her three children, saying she cannot understand it herself.

“I cannot explain because I don’t know myself and I’m a teacher,” Viktoriia Kutocha, who had her arms around her 7-year-old daughter, Yulia, said, according to the Associated Press.

Russia Ukraine War Jill Biden
First lady Jill Biden talks with Ukrainian refugees Victorie Kutocha and her daughter Yulie Kutocha, 7, at a city-run refugee center in Kosice, Slovakia, Sunday, May 8, 2022. The center is a place for Ukrainian refugees to rest and prepare for onward travel. Biden will then travel to the Slovak border with Ukraine to meet with refugees. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool) Susan Walsh/AP

Kutocha sought an explanation from Biden as to why Russia invaded Ukraine.


“It’s so hard to understand,” the first lady replied.

Biden also met with the refugees at a Romanian school that is hosting refugee children Saturday.

Russia Ukraine War Jill Biden
First lady Jill Biden and first lady of Romania Carmen Iohannis greet people during their visit to the Școala Gimnaziala Uruguay, or Uruguay School, in Bucharest Romania, Saturday, May 7, 2022. They visited several classrooms to meet students and the educators who are helping teach displaced Ukrainian children. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool) Susan Walsh/AP

“We’re all hopeful, right,” she told reporters following the visit. "We wake up every morning and think ‘this has to end,’ but it still keeps going on and on.”


The first lady commented that hearing the stories of Ukrainian mothers and children was “heartbreaking,” adding “I think mothers will do anything for their children.”