CBS6: Virginia lawmakers react to Ukraine invasion: ‘Unprovoked attack undermines democracy’

CBS6, CAMERON THOMPSON

Lawmakers from across Virginia and the nation are reacting to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as the European Union and the U.S. are promising heavy economic penalties in hopes of making the Kremlin pay so heavy a price that it will change course.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin

“Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is an assault on a sovereign nation and will have devastating consequences for Ukrainian citizens,” Youngkin wrote. “This senseless, unprovoked attack undermines democracy worldwide and we must hold Russia accountable. And we pray for the Ukrainian people and for peace.”

When asked about preparations for a possible cyber attack in the U.S. or Virginia a Youngkin spokesperson said: “Our administration is diligently working with our federal, private industry, law enforcement and local partners to increase our real-time and pertinent information sharing across our cyber ecosystem and are doing so with particular attention to the geopolitical environment currently in flux.”

Sen. Tim Kaine, Member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee and Foreign Relations Committee:

“Putin’s decision to attack Ukraine is an unacceptable affront to Ukraine’s sovereignty and to democracies everywhere. This is a crisis of Putin’s own making. The United States and the international community have offered Putin every opportunity to de-escalate diplomatically. Instead, he chose a path of conflict, risking the lives of citizens in both Ukraine and Russia.

“America’s commitment to Ukraine is absolute and has the steadfast, bipartisan support of Congress. Make no mistake: Russia’s aggression will continue to have significant consequences, including through additional crippling economic sanctions.”

In January, Senator Kaine helped introduce the Defending Ukraine Sovereignty Act of 2022 [kaine.senate.gov], critical legislation to impose crippling sanctions on the Russian banking sector and senior military and government officials if President Putin escalates hostile action in or against Ukraine.

Sen. Mark R. Warner, Chair of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence:

“For more than 70 years, we have avoided large-scale war in Europe. With his illegal invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has tragically brought decades of general peace to an end. Now the U.S. and our NATO allies must stand united and resolute against Putin’s efforts to renew the Russian empire at the expense of the Ukrainian people.

“President Biden has already imposed an initial tranche of sanctions, and it is now time for us to up the pain level for the Russian government. We should also continue to bolster the defenses of our NATO allies while exploring how we can further help the Ukrainian people in their time of need.

“While there is still an opportunity for Russia to reverse course, we can no longer hold out hope that this standoff will be resolved peacefully. Therefore, we must all, on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Atlantic, work together to demonstrate to Putin that this aggression will not be allowed to go unpunished.

“What is happening in Ukraine is a tragedy not only for Ukraine, but for the Russian people as well. They will pay a steep cost for Putin’s reckless ambition, in blood and in economic harm.”

Rep. Donald McEachin (D – VA-04)

“President Vladimir Putin’s unilateral, unjustifiable military assault on Ukraine marks the end of an unprecedented period of peace in Europe and the start of a premeditated, destabilizing conflict. This attack on Ukraine’s democratic sovereignty will lead to an unnecessary and tragic loss of life.

“The United States and our NATO allies must meet this flagrant violation of international law with a unified, swift response. President Biden has already implemented an initial tranche of economic sanctions against Russia, and we must now confront these escalated aggressions with more severe punishments. Russia will ultimately pay a steep price for these attacks, isolated and cut off from the global economy.

“Russia is solely responsible for the death and destruction this invasion will cause. These attacks are a gross violation of international norms and an assault on democracy everywhere. The United States, along with our international partners and allies, stand with Ukraine and condemn this senseless aggression. I pray for the safety of the innocent civilians who now find themselves in harm’s way and for our brave servicemembers as they defend American interests abroad. My thoughts are with their families during this difficult time.”

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D – VA-07), Member of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee:

“Tonight, we stand with the people of Ukraine, we stand with our NATO allies, and we stand for America’s values of freedom, peace, and democracy.

“We must be united in condemning Putin’s war, an act of aggression that serves only the irrational self-interest of one man. In the hours and days ahead, he must feel the sting of unprecedented sanctions from the United States and our partners around the world. Additionally, Kremlin officials, Russia’s globe-travelling oligarchs, and Members of the Duma must also be held accountable for this reckless push to reestablish the borders of the Soviet Union. They should be powerfully confronted for their decision to inflict pain on the innocent people of Ukraine.

“Earlier, Ukrainian President Zelensky spoke on the right for Ukraine to determine its own future — that the Ukrainian people are free. His words embodied the strength, courage, and resolve of a proud people. We pray for them, and we remain committed to supporting their independence.”

Rep. Rob Wittman (R – VA-01), Vice Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee:

“Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is intolerable and must be met with immediate strength and decisive action from the United States and our allies. This is a blatant attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty. Putin’s intentions have been clear from the beginning: he is a vicious opportunist who will continue to exploit his self-made crisis and put his people through incredible pain and suffering if it means accomplishing his goal of returning Russia to the prestige it commanded before the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“Our adversaries are watching. The world is looking to the United States to see how we respond. This attack by Putin is not only about Ukraine – this is about the rest of Europe, the Indo-Pacific and the entire democratic world order. I urge President Biden to hold true to his word and show the world that Putin’s malign behavior will be met with a swift response from the United States.”

Biden hits Russia with sanctions, shifts troops to Germany

World leaders have condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as “barbaric” and quickly slapped heavy sanctions on the Russian economy, President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle and many of the country’s oligarchs. U.S. President Joe Biden says Putin started the war, and “now he and his country will bear the consequences.”

In near-unison, the United States, the 27-nation European Union and other Western allies have announced a round of punitive measures against Russian banks and leading companies and imposed export controls aimed at starving the Kremlin’s industries and military of semiconductors and other high-tech products.

Biden unleashed robust new sanctions, ordering the deployment of thousands of additional troops to NATO ally Germany, and declaring that America will stand up to Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

He also acknowledged on Thursday that the invasion — and efforts to thwart Putin — will have a cost for Americans.

But he sought to reassure that the economic pain that may come with rising energy prices will be short lived.

Biden said Putin is “going to test the resolve of the West to see if we stay together.”

He predicted the U.S. and allies will meet the moment.

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