While meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other top Ukrainian leaders, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham gleefully stated that “Russians are dying… it’s the best money we’ve ever spent.”
After meeting with Ukrainian leaders, Graham expressed optimism that Ukraine would be able to re-take Russian territory. “I have never been more optimistic about the ability of the Ukrainians to go on the offense and take back their territory from the Russians,” Graham wrote in a tweet Friday following the meeting.
“President Zelensky and his team have done an incredible job fighting for not only Ukraine’s freedom, but for the idea of freedom itself,” he added.
Clips from Graham’s meeting with Zelensky and senior Ukrainian defense officials were released by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Service. Zelensky thanked the senator for his support, saying “free or die, now we are free. And we will be.”
“And the Russians are dying,” Graham said, later adding that supporting Ukraine is the, “best money we’ve ever spent.”
Graham’s comments appeared next to each other in the video released by Ukraine, but Zelensky’s office later posted a longer clip that shows the comments were made at different times.
Graham’s comments were condemned Dmitry Peskov, Russian President Putin’s press secretary. “It’s hard to imagine a greater shame for the country than having such senators,” he said.
Bloodthirsty Lindsey Graham:
"Russians are dying. It's the best money we’ve ever spent." pic.twitter.com/nwsMMT8szZ
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) May 28, 2023
After the meeting, Graham called for the U.S. to supply more long-range rockets and cluster bombs to Ukraine, just days after President Biden agreed to provide F-16 fighter jets for the first time. “I want to end the war in Ukraine by defeating Putin. The counteroffensive is afoot right now. In the last 400-something days, the Ukrainians have defied every expectation,” Graham told Fox News on Sunday.
“They’ve weakened and bloodied the Russian army inside of Ukraine. I expect major gains in the coming days and weeks. The Ukrainians have had a weapon called the Storm Shadow provided by the British that is wreaking havoc on the Russians. They need longer-range rockets called ATACMS and they need cluster munitions to defeat the Russians.”
Graham said he is confident that Russia can be “expelled” from Ukraine, arguing that a failure to deter Russia in Ukraine will embolden China to invade Taiwan.
Graham’s controversial comments come as the Ukrainian Armed Forces are rumored to be launching a long-anticipated counter offensive. The assault will employ newly arrived equipment from Western governments, including German Leopard II tanks.
The success or failure of the offensive is expected to have massive implications on the future of the conflict. Leaked Ukrainian casualty figures have caused speculation over the nation’s fighting capabilities, including one report from British Defense Ministry that estimated Ukrainian casualties between 175,000 and 200,000. Russian casualties were estimated to be lower at 60,000.
Others, including Senator Graham, have expressed optimism over the nation’s offensive capabilities and predicted massive gains. While speaking at the G-7 economic summit in Japan last week, President Biden claimed that Russia sustained “more than 100,000 casualties in Bakhmut.”
The United States is days away from a default and Lindsey Graham is in Ukraine promising to give away more of your tax dollars.pic.twitter.com/UsySlvrlbw
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) May 27, 2023