Russia’s War in Ukraine and Zelensky’s Visit to the United States

Zelenskiy arrives to speak at a joint meeting of Congress. (Nathan Howard/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are reacting to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s historic wartime speech as the war against Russia continues. The president came to Washington, DC, to thank Americans, but also to appeal for continued US support – something US President Joe Biden reiterated during his visit.

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said Zelensky ‘was inspiring as usual’ in his speech tonight

« It’s so important, the most important thing is to beat the Russians in Ukraine, » he said. « Luckily they have a leader that everyone can look up to and look up to. And also it’s nice to have something here at the end of the year that we all agree on »

Senate Minority Whip John Thune said Zelensky « explains why American resolve is critical to Ukraine’s success, » which in turn is critical to the « broader success of freedom and democracy in the whole world ».

Thune said that listening to Zelensky, he could « feel the intensity of his country and his people and their yearning for freedom and democracy », and called him « inspiring ». He added that Zelensky’s speech « came from the heart. »

GOP Senator Cynthia Lummis, who has voted against Ukraine aid in the past, walked out of Zelensky’s speech saying she felt it was « wise » for him to « thank every American family. » before thanking Congress, to recognize « it is the sacrifice of the American families and the American people who make this money available to them.

She said she opposed the funding because it was « coming out of taxpayers’ pockets » and advocated using the International Monetary Fund’s special drawing rights to provide the funding to Ukraine.

« (Ukrainians) are dignified, they are noble, they are fighting to save their country and their people and the sacrifice they are making is just amazing, » she said. « I wish we were smart about finding funding for them. »

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