Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) visited Kyiv with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Thursday and said he hopes to see a “hand-to-hand insurgency” in territory Russia has captured since it invaded Ukraine.
“Long-range artillery is very, very important. But so is the hand-to-hand insurgency that we are hoping to see in eastern Ukraine, in the territory that’s already been occupied by the Russians,” Blumenthal said.
Both Blumenthal and Graham voiced support for an insurgency in eastern Ukraine in the latest sign that the US plans to support Ukraine in its war against Russia for years to come. But the main purpose of the visit was to discuss a plan to designate Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism” with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Currently, only Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Cuba are designated as state sponsors of terror. Cuba’s designation was lifted by President Obama, but the Trump administration put Havanna back on the list as one of its last foreign policy moves.
Graham said he believes the designation would have near-unanimous support in the Senate. In May, the two senators introduced a resolution that would call for Secretary of State Antony Blinken to make the designation.
The senators also called for more weapons shipments to Ukraine. Blumental said the US should send HIMARS rocket systems with “longer ranges” than what has been provided, more Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and air defense systems.