Civilian volunteers attend a training camp of the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces on Monday in Brovary, northeast of Kyiv, Ukraine. Credit: Felipe Dana / AP

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree said more humanitarian and military assistance will be needed for Ukraine as Russia’s invasion of the country has stretched on nearly a month despite mounting destruction and civilian and military casualties.

Pingree, a Democrat, spoke with the Bangor Daily News via Zoom on Monday afternoon from Romania, where she had traveled with five other U.S. representatives after visiting Poland over the weekend. Her comments reflect the continued bipartisan support for Ukraine among U.S. lawmakers as NATO leaders are expected to convene for a summit on the issue later this week.

The $13.6 billion for Ukraine that passed Congress last week may be just a “down payment” on the assistance ultimately needed for the country, Pingree said, pointing to the need for humanitarian aid, such as food and water, as well as military and defense systems.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for increased military assistance from the West, including a no-fly zone, in a speech last week before Congress. The U.S. and its allies have repeatedly rejected that request, however, citing the need to avoid direct confrontation with Russia.

An attempt by Poland to send Soviet-era fighter jets to Ukraine via a NATO base in Germany was scrapped earlier this month after U.S. officials raised concerns. The transfer of planes could be a subject of high-level talks when President Joe Biden visits Poland later this week, Pingree said. But she said most Ukrainian weapons requests were being met despite logistical challenges — albeit with less fanfare.

“We all want to tell people, ‘Yeah, tomorrow we’re sending in 23 stingers and next week there will be the javelins,’” she said. “Part of moving weapons strategically is not explaining to everybody what you’re doing.”

Despite the “amazing” effort by the Ukrainian military, Pingree noted Russia has shown little sign of relenting in its attack and warned of ongoing challenges for U.S. aid groups and nonprofits looking to provide basic humanitarian assistance to war-torn parts of the country.

She and other members of the congressional group visited the Polish town of Przemyśl near the border with Ukraine, which Pingree said highlighted the danger posed to everyday civilians. The refugees passing through there represent just a small share of the perhaps 10 million Ukrainian people who have been displaced by the war so far.

“We have to do more and we have to do it as fast as we possibly can,” she said.