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A bipartisan group of lawmakers recounted harrowing scenes from the Ukraine border after witnessing the humanitarian disaster of refugees fleeing the battle into Poland.
Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., the chair of the Home Overseas Affairs Committee organized the journey final weekend to see firsthand the aftermath of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s all-out battle on Ukraine and its civilians.
“It’s just horrific,” Meeks advised Every day Publish Digital of the scenes on the Poland-Ukraine border. “It made me and a number of others almost want to break down in tears.”
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The members of Congress noticed scores of chilly girls and youngsters crossing to Poland, having to abruptly depart their peaceable lives and their belongings to flee for security in a neighboring nation. They witnessed “heartbreaking” goodbyes on the border the place males aged 18-60 needed to return to Ukraine to combat for freedom, whereas their households sought refuge in Poland.
Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., recalled seeing a tearful mom of 4 who stated goodbye to her husband who needed to return to the combat in Ukraine. She did not have gloves as she crossed into Poland and her son was blowing on her fingers to maintain her heat. Wagner stated she gave the Ukrainian lady her gloves.
“I’ve been in Congress for 10 years and this was probably the most important and consequential trip that I have ever made abroad,” Wagner advised Every day Publish Digital. “We weren’t there as Republicans and Democrats. We were there as Americans to show … support and to let our allies know … that we have their backs and let the Ukrainian people know that we here in America will be there for them.”
As chair of the Home Overseas Affairs Committee, Meeks travels the world. He stated he was final in Ukraine lower than a month in the past – simply earlier than Russia’s invasion. Seeing the peaceable, sovereign nation instantly underneath assault by Putin’s forces moved Meeks to prepare the journey together with the highest Republican on the committee, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas.
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“I couldn’t sleep at night,” Meeks stated of pictures of destruction he noticed from the information reviews of battle. “I decided that I had a responsibility as the chair of this committee to go, and I went to Mr. McCaul and he felt the same way.”
They did not go into Ukraine, however the governor of Lviv, Ukraine, Maksym Kozytskyy, left his metropolis to go to the members of Congress on the Polish border, in one other highly effective second.
“He came across and he was just talking about how they will fight and they will never give up and they’re going to win,” Meeks stated of Kozytskyy. “They wanted to get the ammunition that was needed. But he was just saying ‘we are not ever going to give up.’ When he was finished, he moved me so much. I had to hug him. I didn’t know what else to do.”
Different members on the journey to the Ukraine border have been Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind.; David Cicilline, D-R.I.; Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa.; Raul Ruiz, D-Calif.; Susan Wild, D-Pa.; and Gerry Connolly, D-Va.
The lawmakers met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, nationwide and native officers and obtained briefings from the U.S. Military 82nd Airborne Division.
Because the U.S. beefs up its troop presence in Europe, the navy mission is to “assure and deter,” Wagner defined – guarantee NATO allies in addition to deter Putin from escalating the battle past Ukraine.
The members stated they got here away from the journey moved by the struggling and utterly united of their drive to make sure Ukraine has the weapons and humanitarian assist it wants.
Consequently, the Home simply handed $13.6 billion in Ukraine aid– greater than the $10 billion the Biden administration requested.
“Putin is a brutal, evil person,” Meeks stated. “… It is a betrayal of mankind for him to do what he’s doing. …There’s only one person that’s responsible for the tragedy that’s taking place right now … and his name is Vladimir Putin. And he’s going to get his in the end.”