Sen. Donnelly visits Ukraine; says atmosphere is tense

By Sydney Benter

Published 03/25 2014 11:43PM

Updated 03/25 2014 11:49PM

Senator Joe Donnelly is back in the States after traveling to Ukraine.

The Hoosier joined other lawmakers on the trip, which also included stops in Israel and Afghanistan. They left on March 18 and returned Monday.

Donnelly, who's on the Senate Armed Services Committee, says he chatted with Indiana service members in Afghanistan. He talked to them about ways the government could help them transition back into civilian life after their service.

The trip wrapped up in Ukraine. Donnelly says the atmosphere there is tense. He says people he talked to are committed to standing up to Russia's advances.

"The people of Ukraine came up to me when I was walking on the streets in Kiev in their downtown square--it would be like being in downtown Terre Haute--and to a person they came up and said, 'we will fight for our country. There's no guarantee we'll win, but we do guarantee that we'll fight for every single inch of ground," says Donnelly.

The Senator says in addition to current sanctions, he's proposed sanctioning Russia's entire financial and energy sectors.

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