Murphy, McCain speak to Hartford’s Ukrainian community

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HARTFORD – Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy and Arizona Sen. John McCain spoke to a packed house at the Ukrainian National Home in support of giving U.S. weapons to Ukraine.

"There's no doubt that they're being outgunned by Vladimir Putin and we've already had legislation authorizing it thanks to Senator Murphy's leadership,” said McCain of the Ukrainian forces and their fight against Russian-backed separatists.

Last week, a bipartisan group of lawmakers called on President Obama to provide weapons and other aid to Ukraine. Murphy and McCain also called for sharing intelligence with Ukraine and encouraging economic growth.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal joined his colleagues in calling for action:

I have joined my colleagues in leading bipartisan efforts in Congress to stop Russia’s flagrant effort to destabilize Ukraine and further intimidate and threaten our European allies. After working with fellow members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, including Senator McCain on a letter urging the President to provide aid to Ukraine, I am now leading a new bipartisan effort with Sen. Ayotte to urge Congress to provide the necessary funding for defensive weapons authorized under the Ukraine Freedom Support Act.

Turmoil between Russia and Ukraine revved up roughly a year ago when Russia invaded Crimea on Ukraine’s southern tip.

"I would say most of the people who were in attendance today either had relatives, have friends, that still live in Ukraine. They're still concerned for their safety,” said Myron Kolinsky, the director of public relations for the Ukrainian National Home.