Zelensky’s Secret Meeting in Whitehouse: What He’s Really Happening
On Thursday, President Biden had a conversation with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, emphasizing that the United States would stand by Ukraine’s side. This assurance comes in the wake of an ongoing conflict with Russia, which has escalated to a point where a growing faction within the Republican Party has threatened to block aid to President Zelensky.
President Zelensky’s second wartime journey to Washington included visits to the Capitol, the Pentagon, and ultimately, the White House. Along the way, he issued a stern warning. During a meeting with dozens of senators on Capitol Hill, he stated that Ukraine would lose the war without assistance.
At the White House, President Biden announced that the United States would begin shipping Abrams tanks to Ukraine next week, fulfilling a longstanding Ukrainian request and part of the current commitment. He acknowledged that besides maintaining unwavering support for Ukraine, there were very few options.
“I have faith in the United States Congress,” President Biden said. “There’s no alternative.”
President Zelensky’s trip comes at a time when weariness is growing among the American public over the war, with surveys showing fatigue rising among the American public over the war, and dozens of Republican lawmakers opposing President Biden’s latest request for $24 billion in aid to Ukraine, a long-time ally of the United States. President Biden brushed off Republican concerns, vowing that the United States – Ukraine’s largest military backer, will remain with Ukraine in its prolonged struggle.
President Zelensky also received assurances of continuing support for Ukraine’s war effort from Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy during a private meeting. “He said they would be with us — it’s not easy — that they would continue to support,” Mr. Zelensky told American editors during a meeting Thursday night, referring to Mr. McCarthy.
For keeping the flow of munitions going for Ukraine’s aggressive campaigns, the Pentagon will also send rocket and artillery ammunition, as well as missiles. Zelensky said Ukraine would not stop its offensive during the winter and hopes that it will take advantage of Russian vulnerabilities. “I’m not the best guy for an army,” he said, “but he needs to stop because he’s really losing people. He’s losing the professional army. They’re dying.”
He added: “We can’t stop during winter.” “It’s hard. But we have last year’s experience.”
He predicted that Ukrainian forces would recapture Bakhmut and two other cities – “We will free it,” as he put it — but said he would not disclose which cities. “I’m not going to tell you what cities, sorry,” Mr. Zelensky told editors, adding that the military had “very broad plans.”
Washington has changed over the past nine months since Mr. Zelensky last addressed Congress, when Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed the Ukrainian flag carried by Ukrainian troops in front of the Capitol. At that time, President Biden, who as a senator had expressed serious doubts about Mr. Zelensky’s fitness for office in the early days of the invasion, had just begun to welcome the Ukrainian leader as an old friend. Mr. Biden, who paid a secretive visit to Kyiv in February, has embraced Mr. Zelensky like an old friend since then.