Ukrainian general urges unity as GOP looks to take control of House of Representatives in wake of Kharkiv battle: ‘Stalingrad 2022’

As Republicans appear poised to take over the US House of Representatives, a Ukrainian general is calling for unity in Congress after retaking Kharkiv from invading Russian forces on one of Europe’s most brutal frontlines since World War Two.

The United States has provided $18.6 billion in security assistance since the war in Ukraine began on February 24 — including weapons that Ukrainian forces relied on in their major counteroffensive in the northern region earlier this year.

The commander of the Kharkiv military garrison, Brigadier General Serhiy Mikolayovich Melnik, saw firsthand what effect a unified response from the international allies could have in the war against Russia.

Chief of the Kharkiv military garrison, Brigadier General Serhiy Mikulayovich Melnik, center.
(Photo courtesy of Ukraine Frontline Media Platform)

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Ukrainian forces in Kharkiv immediately engaged in a brutal battle for the northern region after the invasion and before Western aid could be fully delivered. However, despite the challenges his forces faced, Melnyk’s forces immediately gained notoriety.

“Since the beginning of the war, the city has been dubbed Stalingrad 2022,” he told Fox News in an interview from Kharkiv. “We survived, we are still standing, and we will continue to stand.”

The regional capital was awarded the title “City of Heroes” by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in early March – a nod to Soviet traditions after World War II – for its swift response to the Russian invasion.

Ukrainian National Guard soldiers fire at Russian positions from an anti-aircraft gun in Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Friday, November 11, 2022.

Ukrainian National Guard soldiers fire at Russian positions from an anti-aircraft gun in Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Friday, November 11, 2022.
(AP Photo/Andrii Marienko)

Although Melnyk’s forces succeeded in preventing Russian forces from occupying Ukraine’s second-largest city, located just 25 miles from Russia, the region’s common borders meant heavy fighting began when the invasion attacked.

Endorsing Melnik’s command, Commander Roman Hryshchenko told Fox News: “It cannot be said that the Russian side did not provide them with sufficient support. It is just a rehearsal of Kharkiv’s own defense very properly.”

Commander Roman Khryshchenko, left, commander of the 127th separate brigade of the Kharkiv Territorial Defense Forces.

Commander Roman Khryshchenko, left, commander of the 127th separate brigade of the Kharkiv Territorial Defense Forces.
(Photo courtesy of Ukraine Frontline Media Platform)

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The commander, whose nickname refers to “Uncle Roma,” leads the 127th Brigade of the Territorial Defense Forces that drove Russia out of Kharkiv – a success story that has made his brigade legendary throughout Ukraine as 70% of its fighting force is made up of soldiers who were civilians before the Russian invasion.

“Thanks to our Western partners, the USA, Great Britain, Poland and many other countries, we were able to accumulate a certain amount of weapons – the minimum that allows us to carry out planned counterattack operations,” the commander explained.

“Uncle Roma” told Fox News that even with the significant international support Ukraine has received, it is not enough, and noted that his battalion had had to rely on heavy weapons that it had taken from the retreating Russian forces in Kharkiv.

Commander Roman Khryshchenko, left, commander of the 127th separate brigade of the Kharkiv Territorial Defense Forces.

Commander Roman Khryshchenko, left, commander of the 127th separate brigade of the Kharkiv Territorial Defense Forces.
(Photo courtesy of Ukraine Frontline Media Platform)

Although Washington’s support for Ukraine has been largely bipartisan, House Republicans raised alarm ahead of the US midterm elections when Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said the GOP would not write a “blank check” to Kyiv if He won control of the House of Representatives. room.

Similarly, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, said in the run-up to the election that “Under the Republicans, not a penny will go to Ukraine.”

“Our country comes first,” she added.

The Ukrainian brigadier general expressed gratitude for the support from the United States but said some lawmakers do not understand the brutality of the war. “You have to come here to see. To look into the eyes of mothers and orphaned children,” he said.

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A dog among the ruins of the village of Malaya Rogan after Ukrainian forces retook the village from Russian forces in Kharkiv, Ukraine on May 18, 2022.

A dog among the ruins of the village of Malaya Rogan after Ukrainian forces retook the village from Russian forces in Kharkiv, Ukraine on May 18, 2022.
(Photo by Sofia Bobuk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Describing his traumatic experiences helping people evacuate on buses, Melnyk said he watched people’s dogs “stand up and cry on their hind legs” as owners and pets alike begged to be evacuated.

“It’s very difficult,” he said. The enemy must be defeated.

“Only with unity will we save the world,” the brigadier said, referring to Russian threats to use nuclear war. Let us work together to bring down the tyrannical terrorist regime.

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