‘Fatal mistake’: Top Russian official warns Zelensky after surprise US trip

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Nancy Pelosi, Kamal Harris
Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., right, react as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy presents lawmakers with a Ukrainian flag autographed by front-line troops in Bakhmut, in Ukraine’s contested Donetsk province, as he addresses a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Jacquelyn Martin/AP

‘Fatal mistake’: Top Russian official warns Zelensky after surprise US trip

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A Russian legislator issued a stark warning that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s faith in the United States was a “fatal mistake,” following his speech to Congress on Wednesday.

Dmitry Belik, a member of the Russian parliament, said all the allies of the U.S. eventually wind up abandoned to the “dustbin of history” and that Ukraine will be used as a bargaining chip to further U.S. interests overseas.

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“All the allies of the United States ended up very badly, being on the sidelines or, rather, in the dustbin of history,” Belik told a Russian news agency, per Newsweek. “The Americans have only one ally — it is themselves, and all the rest are secondary figures that should ensure their prosperity and who, if something happens, can be betrayed.”

Zelensky gave a roughly half-hour address to a joint session of Congress in English on Wednesday night, voicing gratitude for the military aid given to his country while pleading for more. The address followed a meeting with President Joe Biden, whose administration unveiled a $1.85 billion assistance package earlier in the day featuring a Patriot missile system.

Congress is mulling a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill that includes an additional $45 billion in assistance, which if passed will bring total aid to Ukraine for the war efforts up to about $100 billion.

“He may consider [the U.S.] allies, but he is only a bargaining chip for them, but at the moment it is very profitable,” Belik emphasized.

Belik sits on the Russian State Duma International Affairs Committee.

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Russia is reportedly planning to bolster its troop count and embark on a massive winter offensive in Ukraine, which has shown fierce resistance on the battlefield since the February invasion. During his speech, Zelensky vowed Ukraine “will never surrender” and praised Ukraine’s relationship with the U.S.

“During 300 days of this war, we have really begun a new stage in our relations, Ukraine and the USA. We have reached the level of real alliance, which is 100% filled with real content,” Zelensky declared.

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