By VANESSA GERA, NICOLE WINFIELD and LISA MASCARO
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A top-level U.S. congressional delegation led by Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised the “ferocity” and resolve of Ukrainians head to head with their chief in a weekend go to to Kyiv undertaken in extraordinary secrecy.
Pelosi, second in line to the presidency after the vice chairman, was essentially the most senior American lawmaker to go to Ukraine since Russia’s battle started greater than two months in the past. Solely days earlier, Russia bombed the Ukrainian capital whereas the U.N. secretary-general was there.
Pelosi and the half dozen U.S. lawmakers together with her met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his prime aides for 3 hours late Saturday to voice American solidarity with the besieged nation and get a first-hand evaluation of the trouble as she works to steer a large new Ukraine assist package deal by Congress.
“Our dedication is to be there for you till the battle is finished,” Pelosi is seen telling Zelenskyy in a video of the assembly launched by his workplace. “We’re on a frontier of freedom and your battle is a battle for everybody. Thanks in your battle for freedom.”
“You all are welcome,” Zelenskyy informed the delegation.
Pelosi informed reporters in Poland on Sunday the delegation was proud to convey to Zelenskyy “the message of unity from the Congress of the USA, a message of appreciation from the American individuals for his management and admiration for the individuals of Ukraine for his or her braveness.” She is ready to fulfill Polish President Andrzej Duda, a NATO ally, on Monday in Warsaw.
The delegation’s journey to Kyiv was not disclosed till the get together was safely out of Ukraine. Nor have been particulars given on how they bought to the capital and again. Per week earlier, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin Zelenskyy traveled to Kyiv overland from Poland for talks with Zelenskyy.
The members of the congressional delegation have been unanimous in praising Ukraine’s defenses, in portray the battle of 1 nearly as good towards evil and in assuring continued long-term U.S. army, humanitarian and financial assist.
“This can be a wrestle of freedom towards tyranny,” stated Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the Home Intelligence committee.
The journey got here two days after U.S. President Joe Biden requested Congress for $33 billion to bolster Ukraine’s battle towards Russia, greater than twice the dimensions of the preliminary $13.6 billion assist measure that now could be virtually drained. The measure is designed to sign to Russian President Vladimir Putin that U.S. weaponry and different types of help aren’t going away.
Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado, a veteran and a member of the Home intelligence and armed providers committees, stated he went to Ukraine with three areas of focus: “Weapons, weapons and weapons.”
“We’ve to ensure the Ukrainians have what they should win,” he stated. “What we’ve got seen within the final two months is their ferocity, their intense satisfaction, their potential to battle and their potential to win if they’ve the assist to take action.”
Scores of U.S. lawmakers are trekking to the area to witness first hand the battle’s toll and shore up U.S. troops within the broader area. Pelosi’s delegation was notable for the seniority of its members.
The journey additionally underscored Pelosi’s stature as an envoy on the worldwide stage. The speaker is well-known in Europe and elsewhere overseas, sometimes leads journey delegations and retains shut relations with allies abroad.
Although all within the delegation have been Democrats, the U.S. Congress has displayed a uncommon and, thus far, lasting bipartisan resolve to again Ukraine because it battles Russia. Pelosi has branded the battle a battle between democracy and autocracy and vowed Washington will stand with Ukraine till it defeats the invaders.
Pelosi got here with Rep. Gregory Meeks, chair of the Home International Affairs Committee; Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, chair of the Home Guidelines Committee; Reps. Barbara Lee of California and Invoice Keating of Massachusetts, Crow and Schiff.
“This can be a time we rise up for democracy or we enable autocracy to rule the day,” Meeks stated. Crow stated the U.S. “is on this to win, and we’ll stand with Ukraine till victory is received.”
Schiff, as intelligence panel chair, stated he was significantly targeted on ensuring Ukraine is getting the U.S. intelligence assist it must “defeat Russian forces.”
The delegation was visiting southeast Poland and going later to the capital. Poland has obtained greater than 3 million refugees from Ukraine since Russia launched its battle on Feb. 24.
“We stay up for thanking our Polish allies for his or her dedication and humanitarian efforts,” Pelosi stated.
McGovern stated Russia’s battle had repercussions far past Ukraine and was exacerbating a meals disaster that will be disastrous for poor individuals throughout the globe.
“Putin’s brutal battle is now not solely a battle towards the individuals of Ukraine,” McGovern stated. “It’s additionally a battle towards the world’s most susceptible.”
He added: “I don’t assume that Putin cares if he starves the world.”
Winfield reported from Rome, Mascaro from Washington.
A earlier model of this story was corrected to point out that Pelosi is second in line to the presidency, not third.
Extra AP protection of the battle at