Sen. Kelly Visits Poland and Ukraine for the Second Time this Year
Kelly visited Ukraine in April as part of a bipartisan CODEL and met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
In his second trip to the region, Kelly traveled outside of Kyiv, heard from military leaders and soldiers, and toured combat facilities
To download photos, click here
Today, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly completed a visit to Poland and Ukraine – his second this year – where he met with senior U.S. military leaders and traveled outside of Kyiv to hear from Ukrainian commanders and visit military facilities. During his time in Ukraine, Kelly saw how support of the United States and our allies is being deployed, maintained, and accounted for. Kelly also spoke to Deputy Prime Minister Kubrakov and Ukrainian commanders, pilots, and soldiers about the ongoing counteroffensive and the current situation on the battlefield.
“Being on the ground to speak with Ukrainian commanders and soldiers and see how weapons are being used gave me a window into what Ukraine needs to beat Putin. It also showed me the careful oversight being conducted on the weapons and equipment supplied to Ukraine to ensure that support is as effective as possible,” said Arizona Senator and U.S. Navy combat veteran Mark Kelly. “What has struck me more than anything on both of my visits to Ukraine is the courage of the Ukrainian people and the innovation of the Ukrainian military as they defend their home against one of the largest militaries in the world. It’s critical that we get them what they need to be successful. Now, more than ever, the U.S. must remain an unshakable partner in the fight against Putin’s illegal invasion.”
On Sunday in Poland, Kelly was briefed by the 10th Mountain Division and Polish military leaders on coordinated efforts to get equipment from around the world to Ukraine, train Ukrainians on how to use it, and then keep it maintained on the battlefield.
On Monday in Ukraine, Kelly was greeted by U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget A. Brink, met with Deputy Prime Minister Kubrakov, and traveled outside of Kyiv to speak with commanders and soldiers on the ground and tour military facilities.
First, Kelly visited a memorial for Major Andrii “Juice” Pilshchykov, a Ukrainian pilot who tragically died last month. Kelly met with Major Pilshchykov in his Washington, D.C., office last summer where they discussed the need to improve the Ukrainian military’s air power. Later Monday, Kelly met with Ukrainian pilots to discuss the Ukrainian Air Force and how the F-16 can be used effectively.
Next, Kelly visited a State Border Guard Service (SBGS) base where he heard how Ukraine is utilizing U.S. armored vehicles and saw their drone operations.
At the end of the day, Kelly exchanged perspectives and experiences in a reception for Ukrainian veterans. There, he learned more about Russia’s battlefield failures and the incredible spirit of the Ukrainian people. He also thanked veterans for their service and highlighted the crucial role of U.S. support in this war.
To download photos from the trip, click here.