NASHVILLE, TENN. – U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today hosted a virtual conversation with former Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelyan. They discussed an update on the conflict in Ukraine and how the U.S. can best support Ukrainians defending their freedom.
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Former Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Omelyan Left His Family To Fight On The Front Lines Against The Russian Invasion
“Unfortunately, my appearance is much different than those days. Normally, I wear a suit with a tie and talk about politics… and infrastructure issues. But not anymore. I should carry a gun, and I should shoot at the enemy with a machine gun because they came to my land to take away our independence, to make another Soviet Union, and to treat everybody like slaves of Putin.”
Omelyan Pledges That Ukrainians Will Fight Until The Last Bullet
“Ukrainians will fight until the last bullet, and until the last Ukrainian on Ukrainian soil, and there’s no doubt about that. I was inspired by so many volunteers joining armed forces in recent days, but the issue is what to do next. If Russia occupies Ukraine, they will go further. There is no doubt about that.”
Omelyan Describes Putin’s Desire To Rebuild The Russian Empire
“[Putin’s] main idea is to rebuild, not even Soviet Union, but Imperial Russia – the so-called Russian Empire – and to be number one country in the world… People are dying. Ordinary people are suffering. But for elect, for ruling elect – everything is fine. So, it’s one danger. And another thing I would say is that you should always remember, whatever happens, Putin will never stop. And it’s not the issue of Putin. It’s about Kremlin. Just recall conversation between Yeltsin and Clinton about the future of Europe, or any other U.S. President. Kremlin is pushing to occupy everything they can touch.”
Blackburn Is Praying for Ukrainian Freedom Fighters
“Just know that we are praying for your family, for the country, and that we pray in gratitude for the spirit that the Ukrainian people have shown the fight they've shown for freedom. We appreciate that example that you are setting for the world. We're all cheering for you.”