A number of US war hawks are traveling to Ukraine this week to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials amid American claims that Russia is preparing to invade the neighboring country. Moscow has rejected the accusations.
Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) announced their trip on Monday.
Commenting to Press TV, American journalist Don DeBar said, “This is a freaking war party. Senator Shaheen, for example, at a hearing for the US intelligence propaganda outlets under the Broadcast Board of Governors, called Russian news services ‘agencies of propaganda’ and said their presence in the US market was ‘an act of war, with a body count.’”
“If Donald Trump's presidency set the standard to allow observers to issue remote diagnoses of mental illness, Shaheen is, to use the appropriate clinical term, a genocidal maniac,” he added.
“Or, in plain English, she is out of her freakin' mind, seemingly obsessed with making war with Russia. And she is the sanest of that delegation,” the analyst noted.
The US senators said they would hold discussions “to reaffirm the US’ commitment to Ukraine, which continues to face an increasingly belligerent Russia.”
They said in a statement the meetings with Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials were slated for Monday.
Portman, the co-chairman of the US Senate Ukraine Caucus, said in a statement, “Ukraine continues to defend its territorial integrity against an increasingly aggressive Russia, while also striving to enact critical domestic reforms to solidify its democracy – it is more important than ever that the U.S. support Ukraine in its efforts.”
“I look forward to reaffirming this commitment during our upcoming discussions with senior Ukrainian officials,” he added.
Earlier in December, Representative Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) led a bipartisan congressional delegation to Ukraine.
The development comes as US intelligence agencies have accused Russia of preparing a false-flag operation to invade Ukraine.
US officials told the media on Friday that American intelligence findings point to Russia laying the groundwork for fabricating a pretext for invasion by blaming Ukraine for preparing an “imminent attack” against Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.
“The Russian military plans to begin these activities several weeks before a military invasion, which could begin between mid-January and mid-February,” one official told The Hill. “We saw this playbook in 2014 with Crimea.”
Russia has dismissed as "unfounded" the US media reports.
Russia’s TASS news agency reported The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying that the US accusations were based on "unfounded" information, adding that Moscow has previously dismissed claims of invading Ukraine.
The US accuses Russia of planning an invasion of Ukraine amid a military buildup near the border. Moscow rejects the allegation and insists that its deployments are defensive in nature. Recently, Moscow has been especially unsettled by the prospect of Ukraine being admitted to NATO and has warned of serious measures to counteract that scenario.