McGovern joins congressional trip to Ukraine, meets with Zelenskyy

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Published: 5/1/2022 4:40:23 PM

Modified: 5/1/2022 4:38:51 PM

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Worcester, joined a congressional delegation for a weekend meeting with Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy in that country’s capital of Kyiv, affirming the United States’ support in the ongoing war with Russia and promising future aid.

The surprise trip to Ukraine was kept secret until after Saturday’s three-hour meeting with Zelenskyy, who has remained in the country since Russia’s invasion began in February, despite reports that hostile forces are targeting him and his family.

“Our delegation traveled to Kyiv to send an unmistakable and resounding message to the entire world: America stands firmly with Ukraine,” the delegation, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said in a joint statement.

The full delegation consisted of Pelosi, McGovern and U.S. Reps. Gregory Meeks of New York, Adam Schiff and Barbara Lee of California, Bill Keating of Massachusetts and Jason Crow of Colorado.

“Our meeting with President Zelenskyy began with him thanking the United States for the substantial assistance that we have provided,” the delegation’s joint statement reads. “He conveyed the clear need for continued security, economic and humanitarian assistance from the United States to address the devastating human toll taken on the Ukrainian people by [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s diabolic invasion,” and the delegation “proudly delivered the message that additional American support is on the way” as Congress crafts relief legislation.

After the meeting, Zelenskyy tweeted, “The United States is a leader in Ukraine’s strong support in the fight against Russian aggression. Thank you for helping to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state!”

The lawmakers continued their travels in southeast Poland and Warsaw, where they were set to meet with President Andrzej Duda and senior Polish officials.

“We look forward to thanking our Polish allies for their dedication and humanitarian efforts,” the delegation’s statement reads. “When we return to the United States, we will do so further informed, deeply inspired and ready to do what is needed to help the Ukrainian people as they defend democracy for their nation and for the world.”

Speaking to reporters Sunday in Poland, the lawmakers were unanimous in praising Ukraine’s defenses so far and offering continued long-term military, humanitarian and economic support, vowing the United States would stand with Ukraine until it defeated Russia.

“This is a time we stand up for democracy or we allow autocracy to rule the day,” Meeks, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said.

Crow, a veteran and a member of the House Intelligence and Armed Services committees, said he came to Ukraine with three areas of focus: “Weapons, weapons and weapons.”

He said: “We have to make sure the Ukrainians have what they need to win. What we have seen in the last two months is their ferocity, their intense pride, their ability to fight and their ability to win if they have the support to do so.”

Pelosi said she was “dazzled” by Zelenskyy’s expertise on all the issues at hand and described him at their meeting as “a remarkable master class of leadership.”

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Brian Steele can be reached at

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