We Heart: Speaker Nancy Pelosi Brings Delegation to Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky presents the Order of Princess Olga, a Ukrainian civil decoration, to U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi during a visit by a U.S. congressional delegation on April 30, 2022 in Kyiv. Pelosi led a congressional delegation on a secret meeting with the Ukrainian president that was announced the next day, as they left the country for nearby Poland. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office / Handout via Getty Images)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) this weekend became the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Ukraine since the start of Russia’s invasion, after she led a small delegation of Democratic lawmakers on an unannounced visit to Kyiv. She described the trip as a “solemn opportunity and extraordinary honor.”

Pelosi was joined by fellow Democrats Reps. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), chair of the House Intelligence Committee; Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (N.Y.), Foreign Affairs Committee chair; Jim McGovern (Mass.), chair of the Rules Committee; and Reps. Barbara Lee (Calif.), William R. Keating (Mass.) and Jason Crow (Colo.).

Pelosi met on Saturday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to reiterate U.S. support “until the fight is done.”

In a press conference on Sunday, Pelosi called on other members of Congress to approve President Biden’s request for $33 billion in humanitarian and economic aid to Ukraine. “Our members were proud to deliver the message [to Ukraine] that additional American support is on the way, as we work to transform President Biden’s strong funding request into a legislative package,” Pelosi said after her trip.

She also did not mince words about President Vladimir Putin: “Do not be bullied by bullies. If they’re making threats, you cannot back down. That’s my view of it,” Pelosi said during a Sunday press conference based in Poland. “You cannot fold to a bully.”

Monday marked the 67th day of Russia’s occupation of Ukraine. Women in Ukraine in particular face specific wartime tragedies, including rape, sexual slavery and forced pregnancy. Pelosi’s visit signals a deepening U.S. commitment to a country under siege.

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Roxanne Szal (or Roxy) is the managing digital editor at Ms. and a producer on the Ms. podcast On the Issues With Michele Goodwin. She is also a mentor editor for The OpEd Project. Before becoming a journalist, she was a Texas public school English teacher. She is based in Austin, Texas. Find her on Twitter @roxyszal.