Lawmakers want US military advisers sent to Ukraine

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Kyiv, Ukraine — The Biden administration should allow the Pentagon to deploy U.S. military advisers to Ukraine to help coordinate the billions of dollars worth of weapons entering the country and better monitor weapons, members of a delegation said bipartisan congressman visiting Kyiv. Saturday.

“I think we should be doing more,” Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., the first Green Beret elected to Congress, told Fox News after meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“Having said that,” Waltz continued, “it should come with proper safeguards, proper oversight and the only way to get that oversight is to have advisers in Ukraine assisting their military with planning and logistic.”

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, listens to a report from servicemen near the front line in Donetsk region, Ukraine, Sunday, June 5, 2022.
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In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, listens to a report from servicemen near the front line in Donetsk region, Ukraine, Sunday, June 5, 2022.
(Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP, file)

When asked if that included sending US military personnel to Ukraine, Waltz said yes.

“It could be contracted, it could be civilian, but it could also be military,” Waltz said. These advisers in charge of logistics and arms transfers are currently deployed in Germany and Poland.

Representative Mikie Sherrill, DN.J., also visited Ukraine on Saturday as part of the delegation. She also signaled her support for a greater American presence on the ground.

“It would be nice to have a logistics officer here to make sure we understand and track the weapons we send,” Sherrill told Fox News.

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Both lawmakers said the advisers would help bolster the presence at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv and help in other areas.

“I don’t think anyone is defending [American] military on the front line, but helping with logistics, planning those operations, integrating intelligence is extremely important right now,” Waltz said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with US Representative Mike Waltz and others.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with US Representative Mike Waltz and others.
(Mike Waltz/Twitter)

“The Ukrainians are doing a very good job,” Sherrill said, “but they even said they would like to pass on the information on how they track [weapons] but they need someone to pass it on to.”

Waltz also called on Europe to “step up” and provide more arms and aid to help Ukraine. The United States has committed three times as much money to Ukraine as all 27 European Union countries combined, according to the New York Times.

Waltz noted Britain’s contributions to the war effort by sending billions worth of weapons. The British government has been one of the few NATO nations to call for a complete rout of Russia in Ukraine, including calling for the recapture of its occupied territory in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with US lawmakers in Kyiv.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with US lawmakers in Kyiv.
(Rep. Mikie Sherrill/Twitter)

The Biden administration should “not just help Ukraine play for a while, but help them win,” Waltz said. “At a minimum, what we talked about today was getting them back to that 2014 line.”

When asked if the current rules of engagement should be lifted, prohibiting US-supplied weapons from hitting targets inside Russian territory, Waltz said there were many targets to destroy in Ukraine first.

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On Saturday, Russia launched a missile strike on Odessa, Ukraine’s largest port, less than 24 hours after the two countries separately signed a UN-brokered agreement in Turkey on Friday allowing the two countries to export cereals.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks, Wednesday, June 1, 2022, during a press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the State Department in Washington.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks, Wednesday, June 1, 2022, during a press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the State Department in Washington.
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

“It’s critical for the global food supply and the fact that just one day after this negotiation Russia, in bad faith, would then do exactly what it had just agreed not to do,” Sherrill said. . “The next day is really shocking and frankly, quite depressing.”

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also condemned the strike in a statement on Saturday, “Russia violated its commitments by attacking the historic port from which exports of grain and agricultural products would again be transported under this agreement. “.

Russian forces have in recent days extended their missile strikes to Ukrainian towns, killing dozens of people, including children.

The Biden administration announced Friday evening that it will send four more satellite-guided rocket launchers, known as HIMARS, to Ukraine, bringing the total to 16. Experts say Ukraine needs at least 60. Ukrainian Defense Minister says he needs 100.

President Biden turns 80 in November.

President Biden turns 80 in November.
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

In the latest arms package for Ukraine, hundreds of drones and 36,000 artillery shells were also included. A US fighter on the front lines in eastern Ukraine, who asked not to be named, told Fox News that Ukrainian drones are shot down by the Russians every “four or five” missions.

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Ukraine has enough weapons to keep them from losing, but not enough to defeat Russia which continues to make further gains in the eastern Donbass region, some US officials admit.

Asked this week about the loss of Ukraine’s Donbass region, Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley told reporters it was not “lost” yet.

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