Tearful moment Australia’s ‘first lady’ Jodie Haydon says an emotional goodbye to Anthony Albanese – secretly knowing the PM was about to travel into a warzone
- Ms Haydon and Mr Albanese were filmed having a final hug before he left
- Mr Albanese secretly travelled to Ukraine, arriving on Sunday night
Jodie Haydon was seen fighting back tears in an emotional farewell to partner Anthony Albanese before he travelled to Ukraine.
The pair shared a final hug before he secretly set off for the war-torn country from Paris, landing on Sunday night.
Ms Haydon wrapped her arms around the Prime Minister and as he left, Ms Haydon was filmed being comforted by a Labor staffer and taking a few deep breaths.
Jodie Haydon and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese shared a last embrace before he travelled to Ukraine
Ms Haydon was seen being comforted by Labor staffers after the PM left for the war-torn country
Mr Albanese travelled to Ukraine in a party including three members of the media amid very tight security. At least a dozen armed Australian Special Forces soldiers were on the ground to assist.
The party’s vehicle convoy carried weapons, body armour and medical provisions in case of an emergency.
Ukrainian special forces, in full battle kit, also shadowed the prime minister’s every move.
Mr Albanese travelled first to Bucha, to pay his respects at a mass grave where 416 civilians were buried by Russian forces after being executed.
‘Bucha is now a notorious name,’ local council head Tars Shaprovskiy told him.
‘This is a very sad place.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese toured damaged residential areas on the outskirts of Kyiv during the top secret visit
‘Every one of them shot. This was not collateral damage, this was intentional.
‘One of the slaughterhouses was a summer camp. There were four volunteers there. They were all shot.’
Mr Albanese told him: ‘Australia shares your desire to seek justice for these war crimes, and we will continue to do so’.
The grave, behind the town’s Church of St Andrews, has become a pilgrimage site for visiting dignitaries.
In a chapel underneath the church, Mr Albanese joined the congregation, lighting a candle for the victims of the massacre.
Mr Albanese travelled in an armoured LandCruiser. Local traffic was blocked wherever his party went, with soldiers and police stationed along the route.
Armed Ukrainian troops kept a vigilant guard as Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese toured Maidan Square in the war-torn capital of Kyiv on Sunday
Central Kyiv appeared largely undamaged to the visitors, but concrete blocks and sandbags protect major buildings, and large welded steel road spikes sit at the sides of key routes into the city, ready to be deployed if the invaders try and attack the city again.
Some shops and hotels have reopened. There was even a small group of tourists milling around near the Intercontinental Hotel, which Mr Albanese’s team used as a base during the visit.
But 30 minutes north of the city, signs of war are obvious – blown out buildings, missile craters, broken windows, piled-up wrecks of burned out cars and sandbagged foxholes under the cover of trees.
Mr Albanese is seen walking through the streets of Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv
Ahead of his meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Sunday afternoon, Mr Albanese visited the destroyed Hostomel Airport, the site of a failed Russian paratrooper assault in the initial days of the invasion aimed at securing the facility to surge in troops and supplies by air.
He shook his head as he surveyed the wreckage of the what was once the world’s largest aircraft, the Antonov Mriya, which translates to “The Dream”.
He spoke to members of the national guard unit that faced a determined attack by Russian forces to land helicopters at the airfield, which could have changed the course of the war.
As he left, they gave him a model of the famous Antonov plane.
Mr Albanese said as a former aviation minister, he was touched by the gesture, and the model would take “pride of place” in his prime ministerial office.
More to come