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Senators visit Ukraine to meet with Zelensky amid reports of Russian invastion

Bipartisan group of Senators visit Ukraine to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky in show of support as Russia denies US allegations its preparing a pretext for invasion

  • Group of six senators is in Ukraine to show U.S. support to country
  • Trip comes as U.S. intel agencies say they have information that Russia is preparing for an invasion of Ukraine
  • Kremlim denying any invasion plans
  • Senators meeting with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky 


A bipartisan group of senators is in the Ukraine to show their support following reports that U.S. intelligence agencies have information that Russia is preparing to conduct a false-flag operation in the eastern part of the country.

Six senators – both Republicans and Democrats – arrived in the early hours of Monday morning Ukraine time for a briefing at the U.S. embassy and meetings with President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

‘This timely visit strengthens the US-Ukraine strategic partnership & helps deter further Russian aggression,’ Kuleba tweeted in welcoming the American delegation. 

The codel comes Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the Pentagon has credible information indicating Russia has ‘prepositioned a group of operatives’ to execute ‘an operation designed to look like an attack on them or Russian-speaking people in Ukraine’ in order to create a reason for a potential invasion.

Russia denied the allegation.  Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday dismissed it as ‘total disinformation.’

A bipartisan group of senators is in the Ukraine to show their support

Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba with Republican Sen. Rob Portman - the group of six senators will also meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba with Republican Sen. Rob Portman – the group of six senators will also meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky

The senators said their trip to a show support. 

‘After an hour classified briefing at the U.S. embassy, our delegation heads to the Foreign Ministry to meet with @DmytroKuleba and his team to discuss how Congress can support Ukraine in the case of a further Russian invasion,’ said Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut. 

Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio is leading the delegation along with Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire.  

‘Proud to lead a bipartisan delegation w/@senrobportman to Ukraine to send a powerful message to the global community: the U.S. stands by our Ukrainian partners in their pro-democratic aspirations & in defense of their sovereign right against Russian aggression,’ tweeted Shaheen.

The senators were able to make the trip after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer canceled plans to hold a series of votes over the Martin Luther King weekend on voting rights legislation. 

Unable to secure support within his own ranks to kill a filibuster attempt – and facing Sunday’s snow storm that slammed the Northeast – Schumer dismissed the Senate for the weekend and will bring them back in session on Tuesday.  

Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut were also on the trip as were Republican Senators Roger Wicker of Mississippi and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota. 

The senators’ visit came a few days after the Senate split along (mostly) party lines about whether to impose sanctions on the Russian Nord stream 2 pipeline project that Ukraine’s leaders want to see stopped immediately. 

Republican Senator Ted Cruz pushed the sanctions. The White House lobbied Democrats against it but a handful of them running for re-election supported Cruz’s effort.

The legislation, however, failed to secure the 60 votes it needed to advance in the Senate.  

All the Democrats on the codel voted against the sanctions bill, while all the Republicans supported it. 

The trip also comes after a week’s worth of diplomatic meetings between Russian and Western officials over Russia’s amassing nearly 100,000 troops along Ukraine’s border. 

Those talks failed to achieve any breakthroughs, as Russia would not commit to de-escalating and American and NATO officials said Moscow’s demands – including that NATO never admit Ukraine into the alliance – were non-starters.

A number of Ukraine’s governmental websites were hit by a cyberattack on Friday, a development European officials warned would ratchet up tensions over Ukraine even further.

Ukrainian officials have warned that Russia could launch an attack from various directions, including from the territory of its ally Belarus.

Snipers started the shooting training at the Kadamovsky training ground in the Rostov region

Snipers started the shooting training at the Kadamovsky training ground in the Rostov region

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who has increasingly relied on the Kremlin’s support amid Western sanctions over a brutal crackdown on domestic protests, said that Russia and Belarus will hold massive military drills next month.

Lukashenko said the maneuvers will be conducted on Belarus’ western border and also in the country’s south where it borders Ukraine.

Russia seized the Crimean Peninsula after the ouster of Ukraine’s Moscow-friendly leader and in 2014 also threw its weight behind a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine. More than 14,000 people have been killed in nearly eight years of fighting between the Russia-backed rebels and Ukrainian forces in the country´s industrial heartland called Donbas.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Moscow will take unspecified ‘military-technical measures’ if the West stonewalls its demands.

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