WASHINGTON – Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) and an Iraq War veteran who served 23 years in the Reserve Forces, issued the following statement on Feb. 24 after Russia escalated its invasion of Ukraine:
“The human suffering caused — and any blood spilled — as a result of this unjustified and unjustifiable attack on Ukraine’s sovereign territory are solely on Vladimir Putin’s hands. Our nation, our NATO allies and all countries who value human rights, sovereignty and the rule of law must hold him and his cronies fully, painfully and immediately accountable.
“Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked and inexcusable escalation of this violent invasion will succeed in only one thing: uniting the free world against Russia’s autocratic regime in support of Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty, its people and its right to self-governance.”
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement, “As President Biden said, America and our allies stand united in condemning in the strongest terms possible Russia’s reckless and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. I have confidence in President Biden’s efforts to continue marshaling a unified and coordinated international response to Russia’s blatant violation of international law through the use of the most significant sanctions.
“Russia is recklessly endangering the lives of thousands of innocent people and the free world must stand up to this authoritarian dictator and hold Putin accountable.”
Other members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus have also issued statements, including Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance): “Today is a somber day for the people of Ukraine and the world. Under the autocratic rule of Vladimir Putin, Russia has invaded a sovereign nation for committing the sin of choosing democracy over being his puppet. Putin has rejected calls for diplomacy and for peace, and as a result many innocent people will die.
“This is not only an attack on Ukraine but on freedom and democracy worldwide. The international community must act swiftly to hold Russia accountable and dramatically increase the costs it bears to deter further bloodshed. We will speak in one voice with our European allies and others to call out the aggressor and repel its propaganda. We will impose even harsher economic sanctions on Russia and work to help the Ukrainian people.
“The Soviet Union collapsed not because it lacked military strength, but because it had a weak economy. Russia is in a similar position. Russia’s GDP is half of California’s. Putin was forced to put in austerity measures. Putin’s unprovoked, large-scale invasion of a sovereign nation will ultimately leave Putin’s government even weaker.”