Pelosi Pledges to Aid Ukraine – The Wall Street Journal.

Pelosi Pledges to Aid Ukraine

By Matthew Luxmoore +, Nancy A. Youssef + and Ann M. Simmons 

Ukrainian volunteers conduct military drills on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine.
PHOTO: Manu Brabo for The Wall Street Journal

RZESZÓW, Poland—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a delegation of U.S. lawmakers pledged Sunday to support Ukraine until it secured victory against Russia, after meeting with Ukraine’s leader in the capital city of Kyiv. The U.S. comments came as Moscow’s military advance stalled and Russian officials blamed saboteurs for an attack inside its territory.

“Our delegation traveled to Kyiv to send an unmistakable and resounding message to the entire world: America stands firmly with Ukraine,” Mrs. Pelosi and the members of Congress who traveled with her, all Democrats, said in a statement after their Saturday night meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky. The Ukrainian president conveyed a clear need for continued U.S. security and economic and humanitarian assistance in Ukraine’s fight to repel the Russian advance, they said.

At a Sunday news conference in Rzeszów, Poland, Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the U.S. commitment wouldn’t end until “victory is won.” The Biden administration has said it won’t send U.S. troops to fight inside Ukraine.

While in Poland, Mrs. Pelosi was also expected to meet on Monday with Polish President Andrzej Duda.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Saturday, said ‘America stands firmly with Ukraine.’

Sen. Tim Kaine (D., Va.) said Sunday that work will start this week on passing the Biden administration’s request for $33 billion to fund more weapons and provide longer-term assistance to Kyiv and that it has widespread support in Congress. The bill is essential not just to Ukraine, but to preserving global security, Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in an interview with NBC News.

“We shouldn’t wait around,” Mr. Kaine said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas) said on ABC’s “This Week” that the aid could help the Ukrainians go on the offensive and push Russian forces out of Ukraine’s eastern provinces, which could be decisive.

“I am thankful to you for this signal of strong support for Ukraine,” Mr. Zelensky said in a video from his meeting with the U.S. delegation, which was posted to his official Telegram channel on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Roman Starovoit, the regional governor of Russia’s Kursk region, which borders Ukraine, blamed the partial collapse of a railway bridge on Sunday morning on saboteurs. “Specialists from law-enforcement agencies will investigate in more detail,” Mr. Starovoit said on his Telegram messenger channel, adding that there were no casualties.

The Russian Defense Ministry didn’t immediately comment on the incident.

A boy at the Irpin grave of his father, killed during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
A cemetery in Irpin, Ukraine, as the country mourns those lost in the war.
Alexey Furman/Getty Images

The blaze follows at least two other explosions in recent days and fires on Sunday at an oil depot in the Russian city of Bryansk, also close to the Ukraine border. Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of occasional cross-border shelling.

For the past few weeks, Kursk, Belgorod and other regions close to Ukraine have been under the second highest-level terrorist threat alert, which allows for military and police checkpoints to be established throughout the region and stepped-up patrols by security personnel, among other safety measures.

The developments occurred as civilians began to be evacuated Saturday from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in the southern city of Mariupol. Mr. Zelensky tweeted on Sunday that 100 people were exiting under the supervision of the United Nations and would be taken to the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhya. He said more civilians would be evacuated.

A Red Cross worker at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine, as civilian evacuations occurred over the weekend.
International Committee of the Red Cross/AP

Russia’s Defense Ministry said later on Sunday that 80 civilians had been “rescued from the territory” through a humanitarian corridor during a temporary cease-fire. The civilians were taken to the village of Bezimenne in the Russian-held Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine and given accommodation, food, and medical assistance, the ministry said. Evacuees who wanted to go to areas controlled by the government of Kyiv were transferred to representatives of the U.N. and the International Committee of the Red Cross, the defense ministry said.

Vladimir Legoyda, a senior church spokesman, wrote on his Telegram channel that Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, was involved in organizing the exit of civilians.

Mr. Legoyda said the safe exit of the civilians was “a very important result of the negotiations undertaken with the participation of international organizations.”

A fighter from the Azov battalion holed up in the plant said that many more wounded soldiers needed immediate medical assistance and called for further humanitarian corridors.

As Russia has shifted its focus toward the eastern Donbas territory, the U.S. has sent Ukraine more-advanced arms in preparation for a more conventional battle. The U.S. also has trained more Ukrainian troops in neighboring states on how to use that equipment.

The Biden administration made an earlier show of support when Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with Mr. Zelensky in the Ukrainian capital last weekend.

Ukrainian media reports said that another Russian general, Andrei Simonov, was killed by Ukrainian artillery fire near the eastern city of Izyum. That couldn’t be independently confirmed. The Russian Defense Ministry didn’t respond to a request for comment. But Western analysts have said Russia’s campaign is stalling.

Civilians head to accommodations in Bezimenne, in eastern Ukraine, after an evacuation through a humanitarian corridor.
A building in Kharkiv, Ukraine, was left shattered after Russian shelling.

“The Russians will continue to make certain gains here or there, but they’ll also continue to suffer losses,” said Phillips O’Brien, professor of strategic studies at the University of St. Andrews, adding that the only thing that would dramatically change the situation on the ground would be a large influx of Russian soldiers or Russia’s ability to gain air superiority.

“They simply sent 75% of their best troops over the border in February, so they don’t have a lot of fresh troops to send through,” he said. “What we’re seeing is a deficient military from top to bottom.”

In his video address to the nation on Saturday evening, Mr. Zelensky said Russia was losing military hardware and arms at a rate that would seriously hinder its advance in Ukraine’s east. He said Ukrainian forces had destroyed more than 1,000 Russian tanks, almost 2,500 armored-personnel carriers, and close to 200 Russian planes. The claims couldn’t be independently verified.

“Yes, they still have missiles to strike at our territory,” he added. “But this war has already weakened Russia so much that they have to plan even less military equipment for the parade in Moscow,” he said, referring to the planned World War II Victory Day commemorations in the Russian capital on May 9.

Ukrainian soliders on the back of a truck, as they travel away from the front lines in eastern Ukraine.
yasuyoshi chiba/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
A destroyed railway bridge lies partially submerged in a river in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
Evgeniy Maloletka/Associated Press

The coming May 2 edition of Transnistria’s official newspaper features an appeal by residents asking Russian President Vladimir Putin to let the breakaway Moldovan region’s forces join Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine, Kyiv’s military intelligence service said on Sunday, publishing what it said was the paper’s front page.

The alleged appeal follows explosions in Transnistria, which the local government blamed on Ukrainian saboteurs and which Kyiv dismissed as Russian-orchestrated false-flag attacks.

Moscow and Tiraspol—the capital of Transnistria—didn’t immediately comment on the Ukrainian allegation.

Western officials and defense analysts have warned that Transnistria, which borders Ukraine and hosts some 1,500 Russian troops, could mobilize residents for the war against Ukraine or be used as a staging ground for attacks on the nearby Odesa region.

Moldova said Tuesday that it was placing its security forces on alert after a series of explosions in Transnistria, which the separatist authorities said had struck a military base, two Soviet-era radio towers broadcasting Russian-language stations, and the headquarters of the state security service in Tiraspol. No casualties were reported.

Corrections & Amplifications
Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. A previous version of this article incorrectly said he is chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. (Corrected on May 1.)

Write to Matthew Luxmoore at, Nancy A. Youssef at and Ann M. Simmons at

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