U.S. SENATOR AND FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE CHAIR BOB MENENDEZ
“Tonight, my heart is heavy for the people of Ukraine. As we pray for them in this dark moment of uncertainty, it is clear that history will prove Vladimir Putin’s decision to sacrifice the lives of countless Ukrainians and Russians was made out of fear—fear of allowing a neighboring independent, sovereign nation to pursue democracy and freedom.
This unprovoked attack has brought into sharp focus the need to expel the current Kremlin leadership from the international community. Today must mark a historical shift in how the world views and deals with the despot in Moscow.
The United States and our allies have successfully galvanized an international coalition to counter Russian aggression; now we must refuse to stand by and watch innocent Ukrainian men, women, and children suffer. As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I am committed to ensuring that the United States upholds our responsibility to exact maximum costs on Putin, the Russian economy, and those who enabled and facilitated this trampling of Ukraine’s sovereignty.
Ukrainians are a resilient, determined people. We know that they will stand up for their country and their freedom. And we will continue to stand with them. But tonight, our prayers are with an entire nation, young and old, who refuse to let a tyrant use military might to impose his will on Ukraine.”
U.S. SENATOR CORY BOOKER
“My heart is with the people of Ukraine tonight. President Putin’s unjust invasion is threatening the security of Europe and putting the lives of millions at grave risk. We will hold Russia accountable. #StandWithUkraine”
CONGRESSMAN DONALD NORCROSS
“I strongly condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Vladimir Putin bears sole responsibility for this escalation in hostilities. Despite months of multilateral negotiations and engagement of many of our European allies and partners, Putin has decided to send troops into a sovereign nation.
As I’ve engaged on this issue, one thing has remained constant – Putin and the Russian government are no friends of democracy and have no regard for international law. President Biden has repeatedly warned that the U.S. response to Russian aggression will be swift and severe. While I believe we must exhaust all diplomatic options before resorting to harsher measures, it is clear Putin is not interested in diplomacy. Therefore, I am calling for crippling economic sanctions to be placed on Putin, his inner circle, their families, and the corporations and financial institutions they rely on for economic and military muscle. Putin and his cronies in the Kremlin must be held accountable for their actions.
Putin’s actions are the culmination of a sustained effort to sow division in America and Europe and cause cracks in our strongest alliances. We now must stand united and project strength in our resolve to face down the most serious threat to peace in Europe since World War II.”
CONGRESSMAN JEFF VAN DREW
“President Biden’s decision to finally impose sanctions on Russia, while in the right direction, comes far too late to deter Russian advancement into Ukraine. Weakness has been the central theme of President Biden’s presidency – from destroying our own energy independence through cancelling the Keystone XL Pipeline, to the failed withdrawal from Afghanistan – he has continually destroyed the perception of America’s strength on the world stage.
We must get American energy back to full production and lead the world in energy independence. We must permanently end Nord Stream 2 to remove Russia’s stranglehold on European energy demands, and we must impose crippling sanctions on Russian industries that fuel military production. We are on the precipice of the largest war in Europe since World War II, and the time to act is now.”
CONGRESSMAN CHRIS SMITH
“The hostile, unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has no justification nor basis whatsoever in international law and is a horrific affront to the country’s sovereignty and its freedom-loving citizens.
Tragically, the legitimate democratic government of Ukraine—which its people fought so hard to establish—hangs in the balance as credible reports indicate that Russia has made significant military advances into Ukrainian territory.
Regrettably, President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan—and abandonment of fellow Americans and U.S. allies behind enemy lines—likely empowered Putin and other brutal dictators by sending the message to all of America’s enemies that they could pursue such aggression without significant pushback from the Biden Administration.
Now Europe and the world teeter on the brink of another catastrophic war, justified only by Putin’s mistrust of freedom and his desire to rebuild the borders of the Soviet Union—an empire that itself was built on the blood of innocent people.
As many look to Ukraine, we must also be vigilant of other attempts by Putin to incorporate more countries into a reconstituted Soviet empire — especially and including Kazakhstan, where Russian security forces entered in January and now remain, dressed in Kazakh military uniforms on yet another ‘peacekeeping mission’ in a former Soviet state.
We cannot forget Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its 2008 invasion of Georgia — where I helped secure the safe return of two young girls from my district and several others stuck behind enemy lines.
The United States must stand firmly with the people of Ukraine now more than ever in this hour of great peril and ensure that Putin pays the price for his crime of aggression.”
CONGRESSMAN FRANK PALLONE
“The premeditated attack on Ukraine is nothing less than an all-out assault on a sovereign, independent democracy. This invasion has already endangered countless innocent lives and destabilized peace and cooperation in Europe. I stand with President Biden and the united coalition he has organized in condemning the unprovoked and illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces. The United States will act swiftly and decisively with our allies to show Putin that this invasion has no place on the European continent.
The United States has rebuilt our alliance and partnerships over the past year and our unified action will ensure steep consequences for this violent attack. I will continue to work with the Biden Administration, my colleagues in Congress, and our international partners to ensure we are acting in a unified front to address this threat head on. We must treat Putin as the bloodthirsty autocrat that he is and make him pay for the needless and unnecessary suffering his actions will cause.”
CONGRESSMAN BILL PASCRELL
“President Biden’s new sanctions are decisive leadership and an appropriate action as we stand with the people of Ukraine,” said Rep. Pascrell. “Vladimir Putin and his leadership are waging a deadly war against Ukraine and its people. They must feel acute pain for their crimes and the horrors they are causing. Seize their estates. Impound their yachts. Auction their possessions. Topple their stock market. Embargo their fuel. Kick their kids out of our colleges. Vladimir Putin may be one of the richest man on earth with billions he has looted from his people: grab every penny of it that can be grabbed.
The United States must lead the world community. President Biden’s leadership in working with our European, G7, and NATO allies has allowed for these tough multilateral actions. And our allies must continue to join us in accepting the weight of further measures. Certainly there will be some pain and sacrifice for the greater good of freedom, democracy, and the world community. Banishing Russia from international banking systems like SWIFT is a next step we should support to bring the Putin regime to its knees. If 20th Century history has taught us anything, it is that if you continually sate a wolf, he will not stop but eventually devour you. We must band together with our allies to isolate Russia economically, diplomatically, and financially.”
CONGRESSMAN ANDY KIM
“Overnight, Russia declared war and attacked a free, sovereign nation of 44 million people. Today we must put politics aside, unite as a country and a globe against this despicable act of war. Must be unequivocal in standing with Ukrainian people. No one can take Putin’s side.”
CONGRESSMAN JOSH GOTTHEIMER
“Russian forces invading Ukraine — a sovereign nation — and launching a war of aggression is horrific. Putin must, and will, be met with strong and united opposition by the U.S. and our democratic allies.”
CONGRESSMAN TOM MALINOWSKI
“I doubt anything could have prevented Putin from starting this brutal, senseless war. But we can help to ensure that he, his regime, and its enablers ultimately lose it. Let us pray for Ukrainians tonight and do all we can to help them in the days ahead.”
CONGRESSMAN ALBIO SIRES
“Putin has once again shown his utter disregard for the sovereignty of the Ukraine. His decision to attack Ukraine is dangerous and will harm many. We must stand with our allies to protect human rights, international law, and the foundations of democracy.”
CONGRESSWOMAN BONNIE WATSON COLEMAN
“I condemn Putin’s authoritarian actions in Ukraine and stand with the Ukrainian people. We must do everything in our power to find a diplomatic solution. If Putin does not respond to diplomacy, the U.S. must be ready to provide humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is inexcusable. Targeted sanctions on Putin & his allies is the right move. We also must work with our European allies to provide further pressure where possible, as [Germany] has done. Any military action must only take place with Congressional approval.”
FORMER SENATE MINORITY LEADER AND NJ-7 CANDIDATE TOM KEAN JR.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threatens global stability and continues a policy of expansionism by Putin. It is clear that past sanctions have done nothing to deter Putin’s aggression. Now is not the time for a piecemeal response. The President, along with our allies, must enact crippling economic sanctions immediately. We stand with the people of Ukraine and their right to sovereignty. Now is a time for strength and strategic action to hold Russia accountable for this act of war.”
MONMOUTH COUNTY COMMISSIONER AND NJ-6 CANDIDATE SUE KILEY
“The same Administration that oversaw the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan and allowed for the resurgence of the Taliban now, predictably, faces an emboldened Vladimir Putin. The time for strong action in defense of our allies is needed.
I urge Frank Pallone to join me in a call for severe & swift sanctions, along with aid to those in Ukraine fighting for their country’s very right to exist. The spread of tyranny and oppression simply cannot stand.”
MORRIS COUNTY COMMISSIONER AND NJ-11 CANDIDATE TAYFUN SELEN
“As a young man, I left Turkey with dreams of a better life and greater freedom in America. Like so many before me, I found it and have lived that dream. Since 1991 following the fall of the Soviet Union, Ukrainians have yearned for the same freedom and desire to build a brighter future for their families, within the sovereign borders of its young nation. Today, in an unprecedented and unprovoked invasion not seen in Europe in more than 80 years, Vladimir Putin has destabilized the region, threatened international security and is putting civilians living in a peaceful nation, at risk. I join in the efforts to deliver a unified condemnation of this invasion and support for the Ukrainian people. Freedom will always win out over tyranny and authoritarianism.”
COUNCIL OF BISHOPS OF THE UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE U.S.A.
“GOD IS WITH US! CHRIST IS AMONGST US! HE IS AND ALWAYS SHALL BE!
These ancient Christian greetings are so necessary for us all to embrace in hope and love, with a sense of deep concern and an unfathomable desire for peace, as the world watches the news reports from Ukraine and around the world concerning yet another threat from Russian leadership.
The scare and intimidation tactics with the presence of the armed vehicles and over a hundred thousand of soldiers around the borders of Ukraine combined with systematic cyber attacks at all levels of life in Ukraine can only be interpreted as terroristic threats that target innocent lives of Ukrainian citizens. They seem to be instigated by an extremely low sense of self-esteem among the leadership of what has become the aggressor nation of modern times – which creates a very dangerous set of circumstances.
Ukraine – the geographic reality – with its own sovereign borders has always been coveted by neighbors from anywhere beyond those borders because of the expanse of her natural resources, especially the incredibly rich black soil, which earned her the name “the Breadbasket of Europe”, which produced the abundance of wheat that was shared with the world. It was and is this land that so many other countries have attempted to annex, dominate, subordinate and benefit from not only in modern history, but throughout the early Kyivan-Rus’ history.
It is no secret that Russia, under the guise of the “Soviet Union” wanted not only the rich natural resources, but just as importantly, a buffer zone between itself and the rest of the Western world. Further, Ukraine, as a blossoming democracy inspires surrounding nations. Therein lies the key to comprehending modern Russian and other earlier invasions. In seeking to control the land, the resources and the political system, hardly a thought has ever been given to the real people who live in that land. These people are the “nation” of Ukraine, and that nation possesses a self-identity that is impossible to annihilate.
Through centuries of invasions the “nation” was unimportant to the invaders. Thus, the “nation” bore the loss of millions and millions of victims to genocide, most atrociously under the former Soviet Union and its Holodomor. Throughout all this history of terror, the self-identity of the “nation” survived – in the hearts, minds and souls of the people. It is with the people that we are desperately concerned as we write these words. It is for the them, our brothers and sisters, that we ask you to join is in prayer
We must beseech God in the Holy Trinity to protect her people from the horrors that far too many of their ancestors knew and perished from. We direct all our clergy to offer the following prayer during the Litany of Fervent Supplication of each Divine Liturgy. Further, we ask you all to make this prayer part of your daily prayers in your home chapels. May God hear our loving petition and soften the hearts and minds of all, within and without Ukraine during these dangerous times.”