U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a surprise visit to Kyiv Saturday for a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The longtime representative from California pledged American support for the beleaguered country “until the fight is done.”
Pelosi became the highest ranking U.S. official to travel to Kyiv and meet with Zelenskyy since the Russian invasion in February. The visit comes just days after Russia launched a barrage of missiles on the capital city as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres met with the Ukrainian president.
Her office confirmed she led a legislative delegation to the war torn country on Saturday. This comes after a group of 40 nations pulled together by the U.S. and Germany agreed this week to expedite getting weapons and armaments to Ukraine.
Pelosi said at a Sunday news conference in Poland that the delegation sat with Zelenskyy for three hours and expressed appreciation for their ferocity, pride, and ability to fight and win against superior Russian might.
Zelenskyy earlier requested a head of state visit from Biden to show solidarity with the Ukrainian defenders. Last weekend it was Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin who visited Kyiv and promised more military and humanitarian aid.
On Thursday the U.S. House agreed to use the Lend-Lease Act of 1941, which aided Britain in its defense against Nazi Germany, to supply weapons to Ukraine on loan. President Joe Biden also asked for a $33 billion supplemental funding bill from Congress to continue supporting Ukraine as it defends its eastern regions from Russia over the next several months.
The United Nations confirmed Sunday that an evacuation is underway to get civilians out of the area of the Azovstal steel plant that has been under siege for weeks. As details emerged of Pelosi’s visit, multiple media outlets confirm that dozens of people have been extracted from the area. At least 20 civilians were evacuated from the plant itself Saturday, according to reports.
As many as 100,000 civilians are believed to be still trapped in Mariupol. As one man noted as his family marked the Orthodox Christian Day of the Dead, his ancestors would agree that the Russian invaders are “worse than the Germans.”