The invasion of Ukraine has sparked international conversation, including right here in Wisconsin. Russian President Vladimir Putin made good on his promise for military action in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of Ukraine. The Associated Press reported Thursday morning that Russia hit cities and military bases with airstrikes while tanks and troops crossed into the country. Western nations like the United States have levied sanctions against Russia while Putin has warned them to stay away.
Wisconsin-based members of the United States Congress have weighed in with Senator Ron Johnson calling on Europe to act with strength and the United States to support their NATO allies.
Rep. Mike Gallagher, who represents the eighth district in the United States House of Representatives, was more pointed in his statement. The Green Bay Republican called Putin a “KGB thug” and said the Biden Administration “has demonstrated little urgency, creativity, or willingness to admit errors and adapt” as the invasion unfolded.
Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin issued her own statement later in the morning on Thursday. She suggested stronger sanctions that would punish Russia's financial, technology, and military following the "largest invasion of Europe since World War II" Baldwin was a part of the Democratic-led Defending Ukraine Sovereignty Act of 2022 which called for sanctions on the Russian banking sector and authorized $500 million in supplemental emergency assistance. The bill was introduced in January.
You can read statements from local politicians concerning the invasion below.
“Weakness tempts tyrants and totalitarians to seek more power. People who only want to live in peace suffer the consequences. Ultimately, there is only one group of people responsible for the tragedies unfolding - Vladimir Putin and his cronies. They have stolen wealth from the Russian people, destabilized and done great harm to their European neighbors, and now they’ve crossed another line that will yield untold horrors. Europe must act with strength and resolve to prevent risking a wider conflict, and the U.S. must support our NATO allies and freedom loving people in this moment of extreme peril.” -U.S. Senator Ron Johnson
“Vladimir Putin is a KGB thug who understands no language except force. He has brought war to Europe because he believes he will secure a quick and decisive victory. Our task is to ensure that he is disappointed, by aiding the Ukrainians who are taking up arms to defend their homeland and imposing economic costs now, not after the inevitable humanitarian disaster. Unfortunately, throughout this crisis—as during the Afghanistan fiasco—the Biden Administration has demonstrated little urgency, creativity, or willingness to admit errors and adapt. The president must change course, or our deterrent posture will continue to collapse, chaos will continue to spread, and eventually no one will trust America’s promises or fear American power." U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher
“Putin has violated international law, invading a sovereign and democratic nation that wants peace and independence. Putin’s aggression has been met with sanctions, and his violent attack against Ukraine should be met with stronger sanctions, including a full set of punishing financial, technology, and military sanctions. I stand with the Ukrainian people and I believe we need to continue standing strong with our European allies and NATO by providing them the support they need to hold Putin accountable for the largest invasion of Europe since World War II.” Senator Tammy Baldwin