Mike Waltz joins lawmakers in meeting with Volodymyr Zelenskyy

"Everyday Ukrainians have seen their lives and livelihoods violently disrupted by Putin’s war – and we saw evidence of the Russian atrocities firsthand while we visited Irpin and Bucha."

U.S. Rep. Mike Waltz joined several members of the House Armed Services Committee Saturday to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Minister of Defense Oleksiy Reznikov.

Waltz met the Ukrainian leaders along with Armed Services Committee chair Adam Smith and U.S. Reps. Elissa Slotkin, Mikie Sherrill and Mike Quigley.

“During our visit to Kyiv, we saw firsthand just how deeply Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine has failed to achieve his aims,” the delegation said in a joint statement. “Putin’s aggression has brought Ukraine and the other democracies of Europe closer together, not driven them apart. His contempt for the rules-based international order has resulted in devastating isolation for the Russian economy and renewed purpose for the NATO alliance.”

“But the costs for Putin’s failure have not only fallen on the Russian economy or the Russian military, which has lost thousands of soldiers to his strategic blunders,” the statement continued. “Everyday Ukrainians have seen their lives and livelihoods violently disrupted by Putin’s war – and we saw evidence of the Russian atrocities firsthand while we visited Irpin and Bucha.”

Saturday morning, Russian missiles hit Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odesa just hours after Moscow and Kyiv signed deals to allow grain exports to resume from there, according to The Associated Press. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry denounced the airstrikes as “spit in the face” of Turkey and the United Nations, which brokered the agreements.

“Four months since Vladimir Putin’s unlawful further invasion began, President Zelenskyy and the people of Ukraine continue to inspire the world with their courageous fight for their freedom, sovereignty, and democracy,” the delegation said. “The United States, along with allies and partners around the world, have stood with Ukraine by providing economic, military, and humanitarian assistance — and we have imposed a range of unprecedented sanctions and other measures to hold Putin and his cronies accountable, increase pressure on the Russian economy, and disrupt the Russian war machine. We will continue to seek ways to support President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people as effectively as possible as they continue their brave stand.”

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]


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