Zelensky Dubiously Pledges 'Victory' While Biden Says 'Don't Give Up Hope'

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Dec 12, 2023 - 10:10 PM

(Update1710ET): Simply judging by the below somewhat chaotic scene of Zelensky at the White House, the Ukrainian leader is no longer the star of the show as he was in the war's first year. Gone are the days of the press pool fawning over him or being in awe at his presence. Instead the press primarily peppered Biden with questions.

Even Biden's words struck a more dour tone than previous meetings with Zelensky: "I don’t want you giving up hope," the US President told Zelensky. "We’re going to stay at your side." This after Zelensky dubiously tried to push a message of "Ukraine can win" - a narrative which as the Financial Times noted Ukrainian citizens themselves are in increasing disbelief of. Biden still gave out another $200 million of what's left before DoD funding runs dry for the year...

Perhaps not having much left that's original to say at this point, as the Russia-Ukraine war grinds on approaching the end of a second full year, Biden said that if Congress fails to approve his defense funding package it would be a "Christmas gift" to Putin. He also said that Russia has failed to subjugate Ukraine. Further, the following statements were issued:


During the Q&A in the post-meeting presser, both Zelensky and Biden rejected the idea of Ukraine ceding territory for the sake of achieving permanent ceasefire and peace. Notably, Zelensky went so far as to call this "insane".

More from their meeting in the Oval Office:

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Amid ongoing meetings between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and lawmakers and US defense officials on Capitol Hill Tuesday, one thing is becoming clear: no breakthrough is expected in terms of GOP Congressmen being swayed to push through Biden's $106 billion defense aid package. 

Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.) was among those that are unmoved. He said after senators heard Zelensky's appeal: "It is striking to me that we’re in this place in this last week here and we’re hearing from the president of Ukraine again but we’ve yet to hear from our own president about the border, our border," Schmitt said.

Image source: AP

"The Democrats are not interested in engaging on this in any meaningful way and the issue’s not going away" - and he emphasized further, "nothing changes. The fact that he’s here, it’s the same old stuff, there’s nothing new that came out of that."

"I just think if you listen to the people back home, they’re not interested in a blank check for Ukraine when they see 12,000 people coming across our open southern border," Schmitt said.

Zelensky called it "friendly and candid conversation" - which also suggests there was no particular breakthrough. He continued on X, "I informed members of the U.S. Senate about Ukraine’s current military and economic situation, the significance of sustaining vital U.S. support, and answered their questions."

Both Senate leaders Chuck Schumer (D) and Mitch McConnell (R) accompanied him in the meeting, as both have been on record as strongly advocating for more urgent Ukraine aid. Additionally, Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut held out hope that a border security deal could be completed by Christmas. "I will stay here as long as it’s necessary to get to get this done," he said in a statement to The New York Times. "I think we can finish this in the Senate and get a bill to the House before Christmas."

He claimed that Democrats have "stretched" themselves toward making legitimate compromises "that are outside of the Democratic comfort zone."

Senator J.D. Vance is also among Republican Senators pushing back hard...

Zelensky emphasized his recent theme of 'support us or we lose to Putin and Europe is threatened' message to senators. He and his officials have been sounding a note of desperation of late. He even reportedly told the US lawmakers that Ukraine is considering conscription of men over 40, according to Bloomberg.

Schumer, in a post-meeting press conference said that Zelensky "made clear, and we all made clear, that if we lose, Putin wins, and this will be very, very dangerous for the United States."