Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Tuesday and then meet with President Biden and members of Congress in Washington, DC. This will be his second trip to the United States since Russia launched its invasion homeland in early 2022.
As with his first visit, his message will be clear: supporting Ukraine means democracy, stability and peace. But as the war enters its second year, it must also grapple with concerns about the potential length and scale of the conflict.
Ahead of Zelensky’s visit, Yahoo News spoke with Rep. Jake Auchincloss, a Democrat and war veteran who represents the suburbs south of Boston. An ally of President Biden — who has steadfastly supported Ukraine, unlike former President Trump and some members of the Republican Party — Auchincloss has emerged as one of the most consistent and outspoken Ukraine advocates in Washington.
The following conversation has been edited for brevity and clarity.
Read more on Yahoo News: Rep. Jake Auchincloss calls on US to continue supporting Ukraine: ‘It sends a message’
Rep. Jake Auchincloss, a Democrat from Massachusetts, speaks during the Semafor World Economy Summit in April in Washington, DC (Al Drago/Bloomberg)
Auchincloss: Let’s remember that Ukraine is launching this counteroffensive without sufficient air power. No Western military would send infantry into two or three lines of well-fortified entrenchments without air support. Would never happen. And that is what we demand from Ukraine.
But even without an air force, they broke through the first line of defense in the southeast. So it’s doable, it’s just slower and harder than necessary.
Read more on Yahoo News: The Deputy Defense Minister reports from the New Voice of Ukraine that Ukrainian troops are now securing newly captured areas near Robotyne following recent advances
Yahoo News: What do you say to Americans who argue, “Look, I’m not a fan of Vladimir Putin, but we gave Ukraine billions of dollars.” “We don’t want to appease anyone, but now we just have to worry about our own Take care of the store, and Ukraine must defend itself.”
An assault unit commander hoists the Ukrainian flag on Saturday as a symbol of the liberation of the frontline village of Andriivka in Ukraine. (Alex Babenko/AP)
Auchincloss: Donald Trump says that.
Ukraine is a battlefield. It is not just a battleground over Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty. It is a battleground for the West’s determination to stand up for freedom and democracy around the world. And that message is just as important, if not more important, in Beijing as it is in the Kremlin. I say this openly to every politician in Washington: “If you are soft on Russia, you are also soft on China.”
And MAGA is soft on Russia.
Read more on Yahoo News: The war in Ukraine is a warning to China about the risks of an attack on Taiwan, according to the conversation
Yahoo News: What is your message to Zelensky?
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (right) meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev, Ukraine, on September 6. (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Auchincloss: That the American people stand with him and with him and that he should not allow Donald Trump’s dangerous and cowardly fixation on Vladimir Putin to stop him from continuing the fight on the front lines of the free world.
Read more on Yahoo News: Zelensky says U.S. support for Ukraine is bigger than war: “If Ukraine falls, Putin will surely go further,” from The Hill