War in Ukraine: Nancy Pelosi visits Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service / Handout / Reuters

This Sunday, May 1, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi made a surprise visit to kyiv where she was able to meet Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian President.

WAR IN UKRAINE – A symbolically very important visit. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, displayed this Sunday, May 1, the “unequivocal” solidarity of the United States with Ukraine, during a surprise visit to kyiv where she was able to meet with the President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“The United States is a leader in strong support for Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression,” tweeted the Ukrainian president to accompany a video showing him, flanked by armed guards, welcoming Nancy Pelosi and a Congressional delegation in front of the presidency in Kyiv and then meeting with the American delegation.

“Our delegation traveled to Kyiv to send an unequivocal and resounding message to the whole world: the United States stands with Ukraine,” said a statement from the American delegation published after the meeting. the visit of their delegation, which must then go to Poland where a press conference with the Polish President is planned.

Biden wants to increase US support for Ukraine

“Additional American support is on the way”, underline the American parliamentarians who assure that they will “transform President Biden’s strong request for funding into a legislative package”.

President Zelensky, for his part, welcomed the “very important signals” given by the United States and President Joe Biden, including the Lend-Lease (Lend-Lease) program for Ukraine, like that set up by the United States during the Second World War, in order to supply friendly countries with war material without intervening directly in the conflict.

This visit comes a week after the trip to kyiv by the head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken and the American Minister of Defense Lloyd Austin. During their trip, the two officials announced the gradual return of an American diplomatic presence in Ukraine and additional direct and indirect aid of more than $700 million.

However, this Western support represents a considerable challenge, and the United States is at the forefront. Their President Joe Biden asked Congress this week for a colossal budget extension of $33 billion to mainly deliver more military aid to kyiv.

Militarily, the situation is complicated

London also shows its support: “The United Kingdom will continue to provide military and humanitarian aid to give the Ukrainians the equipment they need to defend themselves. I am more determined than ever to strengthen Ukraine and make Putin fail,” tweeted British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday evening.

A little earlier, Emmanuel Macron had told his Ukrainian counterpart on the phone that France was going to “reinforce” its shipments of military equipment to Ukraine – in particular long-range guns – to “restore its sovereignty and territorial integrity”. .

A support which intervenes whereas on the military level, the situation becomes tense for the Ukrainians. The Russians are gradually approaching the total conquest of Mariupol, which would allow Moscow to connect the territories conquered in the south, in particular the Crimean peninsula annexed in 2014, to the pro-Russian separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, to the East.

Changing situation

It is precisely on this eastern flank that the Russian army, numerically superior to its Ukrainian adversary and better endowed with artillery, is nibbling away at ground, seeking to hold it in a vice from the north and the south in order to complete its hold on the Donbass. This is the “second phase” of the “special military operation” launched on February 24 by Russian President Vladimir Putin, after the withdrawal of Russian forces from northern Ukraine and the kyiv region, where they have been defeated.

About this offensive in the Donbass, President Zelensky warned on Saturday that the Russians “have formed reinforcements in the Kharkiv region, trying to increase the pressure in the Donbass”.

At the same time, a senior Ukrainian military official said on Saturday evening that he informed US Army Chief of Staff Mark A. Milley of “the difficult situation in the east of our country, particularly in the regions of Izium and from Sieverodonetsk, where the enemy has concentrated most of its efforts and its most combat-ready troops”, two towns located roughly on the Kharkiv-Lugansk axis.

The northeastern districts of Kharkiv, the country’s second city with nearly 1.5 million inhabitants before the war, are hit daily by Russian rockets, causing the death of civilians. But the situation is sometimes changing: Rouska Lozova, a village of a few thousand inhabitants, located about twenty kilometers from this metropolis, was taken over on Friday by Ukrainian forces after two months under Russian occupation.

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Source: Le Huffington Post by www.huffingtonpost.fr.

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