Aug 23 2023
Photos from the visit are available here
[KYIV, UKRAINE] – U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and top officials during a visit to Kyiv, Ukraine on August 23. The congressional delegation’s trip coincides with Ukraine’s Independence Day celebration on August 24 and demonstrates strong bipartisan support from the U.S. Senate for the Ukrainian people in the face of Russia’s brutal and illegal invasion.
During their visit to Kyiv, Blumenthal, Graham, and Warren also met with the Ministry of Defense, Deputy Prime Minister Oleksankdr Kubrakov, National Bank Governor Andriy Pyshnyy, and staff from the U.S. Embassy. During the visit, the bipartisan delegation discussed oversight of U.S. aid to eastern Europe and received updates on Ukraine’s ongoing military efforts to defend itself from Russia’s illegal invasion.
“In Kyiv, my colleagues and I brought a strong bipartisan message of U.S. and allied support to President Zelenskyy and senior members of his government. Ukraine’s fight for democracy and freedom against an unprovoked Russian invasion is our fight. Putin will not stop with Ukraine and failure would only embolden our adversaries,” said Blumenthal. “Ukraine needs F-16s with well-trained pilots immediately and longer-range artillery like ATACMS to capitalize on the steady gains of the Ukrainian counter-offensive. It may be slow going and difficult, which we knew it would be, but it is solid, steady progress with a real prospect of significant breakthrough. This is a crucial moment. We must extend lend-lease and quickly pass a bold, bipartisan supplemental security package. We must fully enforce our sanctions regime in light of evidence of violations by American companies and others. We must designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism and the Wagner Group a Foreign Terrorist Organization. We must work to increase our and our allies’, including Ukraine’s, industrial capacity in munitions and other material. Matching our words with bold, decisive actions will keep Ukraine on its path to victory. Slava Ukraine!”
“This is my fourth trip to Ukraine. Morale among the Ukrainian people is sky high. They are doing their part and doing what they need to reclaim their territory. They have the attitude that they are going to live free and they are willing to die for their freedom. The weapons we have provided to the Ukrainians have been effectively used. The combat power of the Russian Army has been reduced by fifty percent. All the while we have not lost one American soldier in Ukraine. The Ukrainians understand you don't end wars by giving territory to the aggressor. If Putin is not stopped here, he will keep going. He has repeatedly made that clear. And if Putin wins he will keep taking territory and that increases the chances that there will be a war between Russia and NATO, which would directly involve Americans in war. We do not want that,” said Graham.
“The freedom of the Ukrainian people remains under extraordinary threat, and on the eve of Ukrainian National Independence Day, I am glad to speak firsthand with those on the ground in order to help Ukrainians in need and move President’s Biden’s request for additional Ukraine funding through Congress. Ukrainians are on the frontlines in the battle for democracy and we must continue to support them,” said Warren.