The travelling road show of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has seen better days. Previous posturing, that fighting the Russians in Ukraine is saving the U.S. and Europe from having to fight the dictator Putin later, now falls on deaf ears. Here are some of his reviews from Congressional Republicans.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told journalists yesterday that Zelenskyy’s meeting with the Senators went nowhere: “Nothing has changed.” Once a champion of Zelenskyy, now it is rather ho-hum for Graham: “I admire him, but he didn’t change my mind at all about what we need to do.” Further, he offered that the Democrats were trying to “use” the Ukrainian leader “in a way that I think wasn’t helpful.
Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-MO) said that the questions put to Zelenskyy (assumedly by the Democratic senators) “were very scripted.” So, the meeting was reduced to “the same old stuff.… There’s nothing new.”
Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) replied to CNN yesterday, which asked whether cutting off funding to Ukraine could result in its defeat, that he personally “never thought they can win to begin with.” He dismissed domino theory concerns, that letting Putin win in Ukraine would lead to the fall of European countries, on the grounds that Russia wasn’t strong enough to conquer other countries. He said of the dominos falling to Putin: “I’ve never believed that scenario. I think it’s a good selling point to send more money.”
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) was unpersuaded by Zelenskyy in their meeting yesterday. Afterwards he stuck to his refrain: The White House and Kiev were asking for billions of dollars with no oversight and no clear strategy that would allow Ukraine to prevail in the ongoing conflict. “Their responses have been insufficient.”
Russia’s Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov replied to media question: “Zelensky’s trip turned to be completely lacking of substance. … Everyone is tired of the Kievan beggarman.”
Notwithstanding, he concluded: “Restrictions and arms supplies will not influence Russia’s foreign policy priorities. We will continue to defend the national interests of our Motherland. Deadly weapons carrying a ‘Made in U.S.A.’ label worth $200 million will only prolong the conflict and cause suffering to thousands of people. And not only in Eastern Europe, but also in other regions of the world, where these arms seep to ‘thanks’ to Ukrainian corrupt officials.”