Zelenskyy renews call for US to designate Russia a ‘terrorist state’ following pop-in visit by McConnell

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, accompanied by three GOP senators, popped into war-torn Kyiv Saturday for a surprise meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, prompting the leader to once again call on the United States to designate Russia as a “terrorist state.”

With Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), John Cornyn (R-TX), and John Barrasso (R-WY) in tow, McConnell followed in the footsteps of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and First Lady Jill Biden in Kyiv, just two days after Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) stalled the passage in Congress of a massive, $40 billion aid package to Ukraine.

In his nightly video address following the unscheduled meeting, Zelenskyy stated, “I believe that this visit once again demonstrates … the strength of ties between the Ukrainian and American nations.”

 

On Instagram, Zelenskyy called the visit “a strong signal of bipartisan support for Ukraine from the United States Congress and the American people.”

“Thank you for your leadership in helping us fight not only for our country, but also for democratic values and freedoms,” he added. “We really appreciate it.”

In a statement posted to Twitter, McConnell praised the “courage, unity, and resolve” of the Ukrainian people.

 

“It was an honor to meet with President Zelenskyy and his senior advisors and to stand in solidarity with the heroic people of Ukraine,” McConnell said.

“It was inspiring to visit the historic capital of a beautiful country that has been forced to fight for its own survival,” he continued. “We saw firsthand the courage, unity, and resolve of the Ukrainian people. The Ukrainians are fighting bravely against a deranged invader and have already succeeded beyond skeptics’ wildest dreams. They are willing and determined to keep fighting to victory.”

“Ukraine is not asking anybody else to fight their fight,” McConnell stated. “They only ask for the tools they need for self-defense.”

But as American Wire previously reported, there’s a lot more than just “self-defense” tools in the $40 billion Ukraine aid package, including, Tucker Carlson recently noted, $150 million “for something called the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program” and $72 million “for something the bill describes as ‘research, development, test and evaluation in Ukraine.”

McConnell echoed the claims of Nancy Pelosi — who, on her visit to Kyiv, promised Zelenskyy that the U.S. was with Ukraine “until victory is won” — and vowed that “the United States stands squarely behind Ukraine and will sustain our support until Ukraine wins this war.”

And that war may be about to escalate.

As McConnell ventured to Ukraine, Finland announced its plan to join NATO — a move Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned warned is “a mistake.”

According to the New York Post, Putin told Finnish President Sauli Niinistö the “end of the traditional policy of military neutrality would be a mistake since there is o threat to Finland’s security.”

If Putin’s response seemed tempered, his deputy chairman of the Russian parliament’s defense committee’s was not.

“The Finns in general should be grateful to Russia for their statehood, for the fact that Finland exists as a country,” said Aleksey Zhuravlyov, adding that the consequence of a perceived threat to Russia from America would be dire.

“If the United States threatens our state, it’s good: here is the Sarmat [Satan-2 ballistic missile] for you, and there will be nuclear ashes from you if you think that Russia should not exist,” Zhuravlyov said. “And Finland says that it is at one with the USA. Well, get in line.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Western sanctions against Russia were tantamount to a declaration of war.

“The collective West has declared total hybrid war on us,” Lavrov stated in a speech which marked Day 80 of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “We did everything to avoid a direct clash — but now that the challenge has been thrown down, we of course accept it.”

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