On Wednesday, after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Democrat Virginia Senator and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner said Putin’s actions “tragically brought decades of general peace to an end.”
At around 6 a.m. Moscow Times on Thursday, Putin announced a “special military action” in Ukraine. In the ensuing hours, Russian forces began bombarding the country with missiles, rockets, artillery and airstrikes and tens of Russian ground troops began streaming in over the border from parts of Russia, Crimea and Belarus to begin capturing Ukrainian territory.
In his immediate reaction to Putin’s military announcement, Warner said, “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,” Warner continued.
Warner noted President Joe Biden had already imposed new sanctions against Russia shortly after it declared the separatist regions of eastern Ukraine, known as the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR or DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR or LPR) as sovereign and sent Russian troops into Ukraine under the pretense of protecting those separatist areas.
“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,” Warner said.
The U.S. has imposed additional sanctions since Putin declared his “special military action” in Ukraine, including sanctioning Putin and one of his advisors personally.
“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,” Warner said.
“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,” Warner continued. “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.”
Warner also shared concern not only for Ukraine but for Russia’s own citizens who would be impacted as a result of the new U.S. sanctions
“What is happening in Ukraine is a tragedy not only for Ukraine, but for the Russian people as well,” Warner said. “They will pay a steep cost for Putin’s reckless ambition, in blood and in economic harm.”