Congressman Ro Khanna prioritizing military aid for Ukraine

Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17) assured Ukraine's Consul General based in San Francisco that he's working with colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee to prioritize sending weapons and military aircraft to Ukraine.

"We have to get more weapons, in my view, into the hands of Ukrainians," Khanna said at his Santa Clara office Monday. 

The Congressman and Dmytro Kushneruk, Ukraine's Consul General in San Francisco, addressed media following a closed-door meeting.

Weapons can't come soon enough. A Russian airstrike on a military base along Ukraine's border with Poland Sunday killed dozens and destroyed many weapons meant for Ukraine. Ina Tweet Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the attack.

Russia has threatened to target convoys carrying western arms to Ukraine, though Kushneruk believes NATO will protect convoys attacked on NATO territory.

From his office in San Francisco, Kushneruk is responding to dozens of applications from medics seeking to care for the wounded. He's been contacted by a team of 20 firefighters from San Diego who are going to extinguish flames left over after Russian bombings.

"They are ready to come right now. They're not afraid of military conflict," Kushneruk said.

For local Ukrainian Americans with no military experience, he suggests making continued donations to humanitarian aid groups, or consider offering their cyber skills to thwart Russian cyberattacks. 

"For those kind of guys, we say just stay here and help distantly," Kushneruk said.

He's also advising people who contact him to get in touch with their local representatives, and many already have.

"We've gotten a lot of letters, not just from Ukrainian Americans, but from many people in the district," Khanna said, "to stand strong with Ukraine to make sure we're supporting them in this fight and asking what they can do to help."