Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., believes it is possible for Ukraine to retake Crimea. Blumenthal just returned from his third trip to the country, a bipartisan delegation that included Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.
“Everything I have come to learn about the will and determination of the Ukrainians leads me to conclude, retaking Crimea is within reach,” Blumenthal said.
They’re not going to concede an inch of Ukrainian territory to the Russians. They will fight to the last person to expel Russia from Ukraine,” Graham said.
The senators spoke as news broke that the United States and Germany are both preparing to send tanks to Ukraine. After much deliberation, the US will send approximately 30 Abrams tanks, while Germany will send Leopard 2 tanks. The United States was supportive of other countries sending tanks, but initially did not want to send Abrams tanks because they run on jet engines. The tanks are expensive, complicated to use and need precise maintenance.
“By sending the tanks, we are announcing that we are ‘all in’ regarding Ukraine’s desire to defeat the Russian invaders on the battlefield. The actions of the Biden Administration and the German government to send tanks is the best signal yet that both nations are embracing victory for Ukraine,” Graham said in a statement after the news was reported.
Sens. Graham and Blumenthal were calling on President Biden and Europe to send tanks. During their trip, they met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and received detailed briefings.
“They are outmanned. We cannot allow them to be outgunned. We cannot allow Ukraine to bleed to death, or their people to starve and freeze to defeat,” Blumenthal said.
The senators said investing in the war is not just about giving money to Ukraine but preventing Russian President Vladimir Putin from invading NATO territory and giving Chinese President Xi Jinping pause about invading Taiwan. They also said Ukraine wants to retake all the territory Russia has seized, including the Donbas and Crimea.
The official announcement about sending tanks is expected Wednesday, but it might take months for the tanks to arrive on battlefields.