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NY Sen. Chuck Schumer bringing young Ukrainian soldier who lost leg to State of the Union to push for aid vote

ny-sen.-chuck-schumer-bringing-young-ukrainian-soldier-who-lost-leg-to-state-of-the-union-to-push-for-aid-vote
NY Sen. Chuck Schumer bringing young Ukrainian soldier who lost leg to State of the Union to push for aid vote

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is bringing a young Ukrainian soldier who lost a leg in a landmine explosion to President Biden’s Thursday night State of the Union speech in an attempt to pressure House Republicans to approve more aid to Kyiv.

Andrii Chevozorov, 25, was injured in the contested Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine in September and has been treated since January at Staten Island University Hospital in New York, where he’s received a prosthetic leg and rehabilitation services.

“I’m very honored to have Andrii as my guest,” Schumer told The Post Wednesday.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is bringing injured Ukrainian soldier Andrii Chevozorov to the State of the Union.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is bringing injured Ukrainian soldier Andrii Chevozorov to the State of the Union. AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib

Chevozorov received a prosthetic leg and rehabilitation at Staten Island University Hospital.

Chevozorov received a prosthetic leg and rehabilitation at Staten Island University Hospital. NC – supplied by Chuck Schumer’s office

“The Ukrainian people, as I saw when I went there two weeks ago, have suffered so, but they are strong, they are valiant, they’re fighting back. And what this is going to do is give a human face,” the Senate leader said.

“It puts a face to a war where so much is at stake for the world. I think it’s going to focus American opinion on why we have to aid Ukraine.”

Chevozorov will wear his uniform to the annual gathering of America’s political elite at the Capitol and will be accompanied by Dr. Eugene Holuka, who has been treating him in New York City. Holuka, who is Ukrainian-American, will help translate for the soldier.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recently disclosed that at least 31,000 Ukrainian troops died in the two-year war as of Feb. 29.

His government has not disclosed the number of wounded, but the figure is expected to be in the hundreds of thousands — as Kyiv blocks men from leaving the country amid conscription to fight off the Kremlin’s creeping advance.

Soldier's uniform detail showing Ukrainian flag in tribute to fallen in Ukraine war ceremony in Toledo, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain.

Chevozorov was injured in the Donetsk region in September. ZUMAPRESS.com

A Senate-passed bill contains $60 billion in Ukraine aid as part of a broader $95 billion package, but House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) has pressed Biden on US war aims and spending oversight, while also arguing that action to secure the US-Mexico border should come first.

“Andrii is fighting for what America stands for. We haven’t had to send a single soldier over there. People like Andrii are busy defending us,” Schumer said.

“One thing is clear: Ukraine will not lose because of its soldiers like Andrii because they are fighting so hard and so bravely. The only reason they’ll lose — and they have good battle plans and good leadership and good teamwork and cohesion — the only reason Ukraine will lose is because of minority of members in the United States House of Representatives will not get them the weapons they need.

“But we hope that Speaker Johnson will stand up and understand the eyes of history are upon him and all of us. Because if Ukraine falls, as one American leader told me, Russian tanks could be at the border of Poland in a year.”

Schumer added that “what people forget is 90% of the money in this bill will go into the US because the armaments that will go to Ukraine, Israel and other places will be made in the US.”

The top Democrat in Congress has during Biden’s term of office deftly corralled the votes needed for other large spending bills, including in what was an evenly divided Senate, and declined to comment on whether a time might come where a smaller aid bill would be needed if the larger package stalls.

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) is attempting to force a House floor vote on Ukraine aid by collecting signatures for a discharge petition. He will need a majority of 218 signatures to circumvent Johnson.

House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) told The Post in an interview on Feb. 29 that he believes that Republicans will attempt to break the foreign aid package into parts, rather than consider it as passed by the Senate.

“The Senate one, you’ve get to scrutinize every dollar in it. They’re going to have to break it up because they’ve got things in there that are not going to be able to pass the House floor and they really shouldn’t,” Emmer said last week.

Schumer said he hopes that House Speaker Mike Johnson will

Schumer said he hopes that House Speaker Mike Johnson will “stand up” and bring the Senate’s Ukraine aid bill to a vote. Getty Images

“I mean that they say they put restrictions on humanitarian aid going to Hamas. Well, we don’t necessarily agree with that. So you got to make sure that you are helping the good guys, our allies, our friends — that you are protecting Americans and American interests around the world,” Emmer said.

“And that’s why I think that the Senate bill has a lot of extra in it that probably would be broken up in the house, scrutinized — every dollar would be scrutinized, but they might do that.

Caitlin Doornbos contributed reporting from Kyiv

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