Pelosi Makes Surprise Visit To Kyiv
KYIV, UKRAINE - APRIL 30: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky presents the Order of Princess Olga, a Ukrainian civil decoration, to U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi during a visit by a U.S. congressional delegation on April 30, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. The US Speaker of the House led a congressional delegation, which on a secret meeting with the Ukrainian president that was announced the next day, as they left the country for nearby Poland.
Ukrainian Presidential Press Office/Handout via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) headlined a congressional delegation to Ukraine and Poland over the weekend.

Pelosi is the most senior American official to visit the war-torn Eastern European nation since Russia began its invasion more than two months ago. The lawmaker said in a statement that the delegation had a “profound and solemn visit” with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which they “conveyed respect and gratitude” for his leadership, as well as “our admiration of the Ukrainian people for their courage in the fight against Russia’s diabolical invasion.”

“Our Members were proud to deliver the message that additional American support is on the way, as we work to transform President Biden’s strong funding request into a legislative package,” the statement added.

While in Poland, Pelosi and her colleagues continued “meetings with U.S. senior officials to be further briefed on the humanitarian tragedy caused by Putin.” They met with Americans with the 82nd Airborne Division stationed in Poland. They further discussed “the importance of the U.S.-Polish partnership and the centrality of the NATO alliance in working to meet the urgent needs of Ukraine and to counter Russia’s unlawful aggression.”

As Pelosi’s statement mentioned, the visit comes days after President Joe Biden asked Congress for a $33 billion aid package to support Ukraine. Roughly $20 billion is meant for weapons, $8.5 billion to fund Zelensky’s government, and $3 billion for food and humanitarian purposes.

The Biden administration is also sending more than a hundred new secretive suicide drones to Ukraine as Russian military forces are reportedly exposed after regrouping in the eastern part of the country. The Phoenix Ghost — designed by the U.S. Air Force and manufactured by Aevex Aerospace — will quietly loiter over the skies of Ukraine looking for enemy units and will engage by flying directly into the target, detonating an explosive warhead.

John Kirby, chief spokesman for the Pentagon, said that the system was designed “largely, but not exclusively, to attack targets.”

“It can also be used to give you a site picture of what it is seeing, of course. But its principal focus is attack,” Kirby said. “Its purpose is akin to that of the Switchblade, which we have been talking about in the past, which is basically a one-way drone and attack drone. And that’s essentially what this is designed to do.”

Also last week, Russian state-controlled gas corporation Gazprom announced that it had cut off natural gas to Poland and Bulgaria after the two European nations refused to pay in rubles — worsening gas shortages in Europe induced by the Russian invasion.

“The announcement by Gazprom that it is unilaterally stopping delivery of gas to customers in Europe is yet another attempt by Russia to use gas as an instrument of blackmail,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement. “This is unjustified and unacceptable. And it shows once again the unreliability of Russia as a gas supplier.”

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