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Home / post-Soviet states

Riverside County congressmen denounce Russian invasion of Ukraine

Inland Empire congressional representatives Thursday expressed dismay over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with two reps criticizing President Joe Biden’s response to the naked aggression.

“This is a disastrous day for free nations everywhere and a direct assault by tyranny and aggression that will compel the world to take notice,” Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Temecula, said. “This is also a defining moment for the Biden Administration, which has manifestly failed to bolster a coalition of allies and partners to keep and secure the peace.”

Issa said that the U.S. should demonstrate support for “Ukraine and its people in their hour of need,” and he felt the credibility of American foreign policy and NATO were “being tested.”

“And at this moment, they are failing that test,” the congressman said.

Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Corona, said the Ukraine war stemmed from “Vladimir Putin’s dreams of reuniting the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics,” and it was incumbent on the president to “make it clear that the post-Soviet states, including Ukraine, have a right to develop as free and open democracies.”

“Looking beyond the current disaster in the Ukraine, a lack of robust U.S. response and leadership will undoubtedly signal to China that Taiwan is theirs for the taking,” Calvert said. “The global order that has survived for over 75 years is unraveling under this inept president.”

He urged the White House “to do anything possible to support the people of Ukraine against authoritarian incursions,” though the congressman stopped short of calling for military intervention.

Rep. Mark Takano, D-Riverside, said Putin’s aggression will “bring catastrophic loss of life and human suffering.”

“Russia, alone, is responsible for the death and destruction this war will bring, and they must be held fully accountable,” he said.

Those sentiments were echoed by Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Coachella, who said Putin’s decision to wage war “threatens peace and stability around the globe.”

“I stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people to protect their sovereignty, and my prayers are with them,” the congressman said. “The U.S. and our allies will work closely together to deter and defend against further Russian aggression.”

The president immediately announced sanctions against Russia that include limitations on exports to the country, restrictions on borrowing opportunities for Russian entities doing business with the U.S. and restrictions on Russia’s access to the foreign exchange markets.

“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life,” Biden said in a statement. “America stands up to bullies. We will coordinate with our NATO allies to ensure a strong, united response that deters any aggression against the alliance.”

Putin publicly stated that the invasion was the result of security concerns and that Russia was left with “no chance to act differently.”

The Russian leader, who has been in power since the early 2000s, declared that residents of the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, where there’s a sizable Russian population, had been subjected to human rights abuses, necessitating a military response. According to published reports, Putin has also been at odds with Western nations over plans to admit Ukraine into NATO, reducing Russia’s buffer zone with Europe.

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