Senator Ernst Visits Kyiv, Meets with Leaders on the Ground

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee and member of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, concluded a congressional delegation visit to Ukraine, one of America’s closest strategic partners in the region. This visit comes at the same time the country is recognizing its five-year anniversary of their successful Revolution of Dignity. During her time there, Ernst met with senior Ukrainian military and government leaders, including the Minister of Defense. 

Senator Ernst shaking hands with Ukraine Minister of Defense, Stepan Poltorak.

 As the subcommittee chairman, Senator Ernst has oversight over numerous commands and agencies within the Department of Defense, including U.S. Special Operations Command. While in Ukraine, Ernst visited a special operations training center in Berdychiv, where the U.S. and Ukrainian special operations forces are working closely together to improve recruitment, retention, training, and overall military tactics. In addition, she was able to see and hear firsthand the threats Ukrainian forces are facing on the Eastern front while spending time at the Joint Forces Operations Headquarters in Kramatorsk. 

Senator Ernst visiting with American and Ukrainian Special Operations Forces in Berdychiv.

Senator Ernst also met with members of civil society organizations and the parliament to discuss governance, combating corruption, and ongoing reforms such as decentralization.

 “Being on the ground in Ukraine allowed me to directly convey to our ally that the United States will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with free, democratic governments. While Russia continues its aggression towards its neighbors and their sovereignty, the United States is here to promote good governance and provide greater military partnership with our ally, specifically through the development of Ukrainian special operations forces,” said Senator Joni Ernst.