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McConnell leads a delegation of Republican senators in Kyiv

The President said that Ukraine not only defends its own state, but all democratic values ​​and freedoms and the right of peoples to freely choose their own future.

“Russia is committing genocide against the Ukrainian people,” Zelenskyy told the delegation. “[Russian President Vladimir Putin] commits war crimes that horrify the whole world – torture, mass executions, rape. Europe has not seen such crimes since World War II,” he said.

Zelenskyy welcomed the delegation inside the House of Chimeras, which is located in the premises of the presidential administration.

The visit comes as a $40 billion aid package to bolster Ukraine’s defenses against Russian invasion stalled in the Senate following Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) demands for a watchdog to follow the money.

Before the Senate left Thursday, McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer made a rare bipartisan demand on the floor, offering Paul a vote on his amendment to the package in exchange for moving the bill faster. ‘aid. But Paul rejected their request and instead wanted to change the underlying bill.

Adoption of the aid package is now expected next week.

Two weeks ago, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi became the highest-ranking US official to visit Ukraine since the Russian invasion began.

Pelosi led the previously unannounced trip with a group of senior House Democrats, including Foreign Affairs Chairman Gregory Meeks (DN.Y.), Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-California) and Rules Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.).

Christopher Miller contributed to this report.