In a speech in Washington on Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy made an impassioned plea for continued U.S. military support, warning of the Kremlin's threat to destroy European democracies if it fails to help his country defeat Russian aggression. He warned that his “dream” would come true.
In a speech to U.S. military officers at the National Defense University, President Zelenskiy said that Ukraine was fighting not only for its own survival, but also to protect the freedoms that were available to all of Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
President Zelenskiy rebuked Congressional Republicans who opposed U.S. funding for the Ukraine war, saying politicians should not “betray the soldiers” and saying Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed the depletion of U.S. aid. He said he supports them.
“If anyone has been inspired by the unresolved issues in the Reichstag, it is only President Putin and his sick clique,” he said. “They see the delay and feel like their dreams have come true.”
“You can count on Ukraine, and we hope we can count on you as well,” Zelenskiy said. “Putin must lose.”
The Ukrainian leader, wearing his trademark army-style green sweatshirt with the words “I am a Ukrainian” printed in large print, arrived in Washington after a diplomatic round in Argentina this weekend.
He was scheduled to meet with Congressional leaders from both parties on Tuesday, including President Joe Biden and Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson.
White House National Security Council Press Secretary John Kirby said the trip came at a “pivotal time” as Mr. “We will take a firm stance,” he said. Push back the Russian army.
President Zelenskiy is also scheduled to meet with the heads of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in an effort to rebuild his country's economy, which has fallen into crisis amid all-out war.
– Republicans complain about Ukraine –
During the bloody conflict that destroyed large swathes of Ukraine and displaced millions of people, the Ukrainian military relied on the U.S.-led coalition, which provided tens of billions of dollars in ammunition, weapons, and economic and social aid. I've relied heavily on it.
Now, U.S. aid flows – which Biden has described as part of an existential battle between the democratic world and President Putin's aggressive dictatorship – are on the verge of drying up.
Republican senators last week blocked a White House request for $106 billion in emergency aid, primarily for Ukraine and Israel.
Conservatives said they would veto the policy against their close foreign ally unless Democrats and the White House also agreed to broader immigration reform targeting security at the politically sensitive U.S.-Mexico border.
More broadly, the right wing of the Republican Party, led by 2024 presidential candidate Donald Trump, has dramatically worsened its stance toward the Ukraine cause.
Sen. J.D. Vance, an ally of President Trump, said Sunday that “the best interest of the United States is to accept that Ukraine will have to cede some territory to Russia and end the war.'' That's true.''
He dismissed as “ridiculous” the White House's warning that allowing Russia to win in Ukraine would put other Eastern European countries, including NATO members, at risk.
Vance said there should be no “blank check” to Ukraine. “We need to be clear about our ambitions. What can we achieve with $61 billion that we can't achieve with $100 billion?”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)