U.S. Sen. John McCain is coming to Connecticut to meet with representatives of the local Ukrainian community.
McCain, an Arizona Republican and his party’s nominee for president in 2008, will join Connecticut U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy at a forum in Hartford. Murphy is a Democrat.
The two senators will hold a forum with the Ukrainian community to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the role of the U.S. in supporting the Ukrainian people, and the importance of putting an end to violence in the region.
The meeting will take place at 10 a.m. at the Ukrainian National Home, 961 Wethersfield Ave., Hartford.
Both serve on Foreign Relations Committee
Murphy and McCain have served with each other on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, traveling to Ukraine together on several occasions in efforts to end the ongoing crisis in the Eastern European nation.
Murphy, who was first elected in 2012, was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs when the Democrats controlled the Senate.
The crisis in Ukraine
Russian-based rebels are attempting to take control of parts of southeastern Ukraine, which has resulted in much bloodshed. Previously, Russia forcefully took control of Crimea, a peninsula on the Black Sea that was part of Ukraine.
McCain has been a strong proponent of the United States doing more to stop what has been described as Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine, including providing more arms to the government-backed Ukrainian military.
Many Ukrainians in CT
Connecticut has a sizable Ukrainian population, including in the Naugatuck Valley and northeastern part of the state.
According to Ameredia.com, an ethnic marketing website, there are about 23,500 Ukrainian-Americans living in Connecticut — of about 893,000 total in the United States.
New York, Pennsylvania and North Dakota also have considerable Ukrainian populations.
There are both Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox churches in many major Connecticut cities, including St. Peter and St. Paul Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Ansonia, Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church in Bridgeport, and Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Bridgeport.
McCain has new book
Following the meeting in Hartford, McCain and Murphy will visit with the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce in Cromwell to discuss McCain’s newly released book, “Thirteen Soldiers,” which details the personal accounts of 13 American soldiers who fought in major military conflicts in American history.
McCain was a U.S. Navy pilot during the Vietnam War. His plane was shot down and he was badly injured, captured and held prisoner of war for more than five years by the North Vietnamese. He was tortured while a POW.
He is now in his fifth term in the Senate. Both McCain and Murphy served in the U.S. House of Representatives before being elected to the U.S. Senate.