regular-article-logo Thursday, 08 June 2023

Republican U-turn on Ukraine support

Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi has taken up Volodymyr Zelensky’s call for a western-enforced no-fly zone

Jonathan Weisman Washington Published 10.03.22, 02:52 AM
Volodymyr Zelensky.

Volodymyr Zelensky. File Photo

In the final years of Donald J. Trump’s presidency, Republicans portrayed Ukraine as an eastern European Wild West run by unlawful politicians, a bad actor that sought to tamper in American elections and channel millions of dollars to Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s son.

“We’re talking Ukraine,” thundered Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, in 2019, describing the country as “one of the three most corrupt countries on the planet”. The setting was a hearing for Trump’s first impeachment, over his efforts to pressure Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, into digging up political dirt on Biden.


Now such voices are fading, as the bulk of the Republican Party tries to get on the right side of history amid a brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine. Republicans are among the most vociferous champions for the US to amp up its military response, and are competing to issue the strongest expressions of solidarity with Ukraine’s leaders.

Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi has taken up Zelensky’s call for a western-enforced no-fly zone. Senator Rick Scott of Florida said deploying US ground troops to Ukraine should not be “off the table”. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina encouraged the assassination of President Putin of Russia to save a nation that many in his party had previously portrayed as hardly worth saving.

“What was sort of a problematic, corrupt place is now the defender of freedom,” Graham quipped about his colleagues’ changing tunes.

(New York Times News Service)

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