Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky listens during a meeting with US President Joe Biden in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on September 21, 2023.InternationalIndiaAfricaOleg BurunovThe Ukrainian president traveled to the US amid Kiev’s botched counteroffensive, which has already claimed the lives of more than 71,000 Ukrainian servicemen.Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to the US, which wrapped up this week, proved to be a failure rather than a success. Sputnik looks into the matter.
Konstantinovka Missile Strike Probe
The visit had a rocky start after a US newspaper published the results of its own investigation into the September 6 missile strike on Konstantinovka in eastern Ukraine, which killed 15 civilians. Kiev had blamed the attack on Moscow, however, the newspaper reported that the Ukrainian side was to blame.“Evidence, […] including missile fragments, satellite imagery, witness accounts and social media posts, strongly suggests the catastrophic strike was the result of an errant Ukrainian air defense missile fired by a Buk launch system,” the news outlet pointed out.
No ATACMS Missiles
Another US media outlet reported about “Zelensky’s frosty welcome to D.C.”, referencing six Republican senators and 22 House members’ letter to the White House, which opposed President Joe Biden’s request for $24 billion in additional funding for Ukraine.As a result, POTUS finally announced the $325 million military assistance package for Kiev during a White House meeting with Zelensky.Notably, the Biden administration opted not to provide Ukraine with the long-range ATACMS missiles that would allow Kiev to launch strikes well behind Russian lines.
GOP’s Cold Shoulder
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, for his part, denied Zelensky’s request to address a joint meeting of Congress, telling reporters that Congressmen “just didn’t have time.»
McCarthy was echoed by Republican Byron Donalds, who said that “There's no money in the House right now for Ukraine." According to Donalds, “It's not a good time for [Zelensky] to be here, quite frankly."
The US media outlet noted in this vein that “the effectiveness of Zelensky’s personal appeals has […] been challenged, as dozens of Republicans used his visit as an occasion to snub Ukraine’s requests and mock its wartime leader.”
Doctored Speech at UN General Assembly
On September 19, the Ukrainian president addressed a UN General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York. US television channels at the time showed many empty seats in the premises where Zelensky delivered the speech.Ukrainian broadcasters, therefore, had to edit the footage so as to create an illusion of a full audience, where one could see Zelensky himself among the viewers.His visit came amid the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF)’s futile attempts to break through Russian defensive lines, a counteroffensive that President Vladimir Putin called a “failure rather than a standstill”. According to him, the UAF has lost more 71,000 soldiers and over 500 tanks since the beginning of the counteroffensive on June 4.