NewsLocal News


Kansas, Missouri congressional leaders condemn Russian invasion of Ukraine

KC-area leaders call for strong sanctions
Ukraine Tensions
Screen Shot 2022-02-23 at 4.48.53 PM.png
Fleeing Kyiv Russian invasion
Chernobyl Ukraine forces
Posted at 10:48 AM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 13:41:18-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Congressional leaders from Kansas and Missouri on both sides of the political aisle condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and called for additional sanctions against Russia after its unprovoked military invasion.

“We must make crystal clear that Russia cannot intimidate or invade our allies and partners without significant consequences,” Rep. Sharice Davids — a Democrat from Kansas who represents the 3rd District, including Johnson and Wyandotte counties. “United as a country and with our allies, we must hold Putin accountable for his unjustified and unacceptable aggression.

“I am continuing to monitor the situation closely. My thoughts are with the people of Ukraine and our military service members stationed in Europe.”

Sen. Jerry Moran, a Republican from Kansas, put the blame for the invasion on Russian President Vladimir Putin and urged strong support for NATO allies in the region in addition to calling for economic sanctions:

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is an avoidable tragedy for which Vladimir Putin is solely responsible. President Biden and our allies must impose punishing sanctions on Russia’s vital economic sectors and provide humanitarian support to Ukrainian victims of Moscow’s aggression. It is also imperative that all NATO allies remain unified against the Russian threat and ensure the security of the alliance’s eastern-most members. While this moment underscores the need for our allies to contribute more to NATO’s defense, the United States’ commitment to our NATO obligations cannot be in doubt.

I am grateful for our military servicemembers stationed in Europe — and those who have recently deployed there — for demonstrating to our NATO allies in Europe and around the world that the United States can be relied upon.
Sen. Jerry Moran, R-KS

NATO, or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is a military alliance between the U.S., Canada and 28 European allies that formed in 1949 in the wake of World War II.

Ukrainian leaders have long stated a desire to join NATO, but the former Soviet Union nation remains only an aspiring member. Russia strongly opposes Ukraine, a strategically placed and mineral-rich country located north of the Black Sea, formally joining NATO.

Russia and Ukraine are the two largest countries by area in Europe.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler, a Republican who represents Missouri’s 4th District, urged sanctions and called for increased U.S. energy independence in a statement Thursday morning:

The heinous invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin warrants a fury of sanctions to be imposed on the Russian regime.

This moment is yet another test for President Biden on the world stage. China and our other adversaries are closely watching our nation’s response. I urge the president to enact severe sanctions to swiftly decimate Putin’s further capabilities.

Now, more than ever, Biden must also embrace energy independence for America.

To the Ukrainian people: I stand with you and pray for your health, safety, and freedom as you defend your homeland from this baseless Russian invasion.
Rep. Vicky Hartlzer, R-MO

Rep. Sam Graves, a Republican who represents Missouri’s 6th congressional district, echoed Hartlzer’s sentiments in his own statement.

“The free people of the world stand with the citizens of Ukraine in the face of Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion,” Graves said. “We must support our NATO allies in the region and immediately act together to enact the strongest possible sanctions to cripple Putin’s ability to make war. We cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of 2008 and 2014.”

Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, also toed the party line in a statement posted on social media to Russia’s invasion:

Russia’s brutal assault on Ukraine and invasion of its territory must be met with strong American resolve. President Biden must act now to hit Vladimir Putin where it hurts, beginning with Russia’s energy sector. The Biden Administration should sanction Russian energy production to a halt, and help arm the Ukrainians to defend themselves. At the same time, the White House should reopen American energy production in full. This is the time to show Russia and the world that America will not reward aggression and it will not be dependent on its enemies.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-MO

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver — a Democrat who represents Missouri’s 5th District, which includes Kansas City, Missouri — called the Russian invasion “unprovoked and unconscionable” in a statement:

Today, my heart and my prayers are with the proud people of Ukraine. As they are forced to take up arms to defend their homeland from an unprovoked and unconscionable act of war, the rest of the world must stand united in condemnation and rejection of Russia’s aggression.

With this premeditated decision to spill the innocent blood of a peaceful and prosperous nation in an attempt to reshape the world order, the despot of Moscow has reserved his place in history among the worst of humankind. He must—and will—be held accountable to the fullest extent possible for this despicable attempt to oppress an independent nation.

Every generation is tasked with defending freedom from the ever-encroaching threat of tyranny and despotism. This is our moment. Now, more than ever, Americans, our NATO allies, and those who value self-determination must come together with an ironclad commitment to defend the values so many of our countrymen have sacrificed for.

As sure as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, Putin will increase efforts to sow division around the globe and grow his sphere of influence. We must resist the temptations to turn on each other and, instead, turn our ire toward the true threat to our freedoms at home and abroad.

If anyone in the Fifth District has family or friends in the conflict zone or in need of assistance, please reach out to my district offices immediately.
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, R-MO

Later Thursday, Rep. Jake LaTurner, a Republican who represents the 2nd congressional district in Kansas, also issued a statement condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine:

Vladimir Putin's unprovoked, full-scale invasion of Ukraine is unacceptable and must be met with swift and severe consequences. The United States stands with the innocent people of Ukraine and is committed to holding Putin and his thugs accountable.

So far, the White House's approach to Russia's aggression has failed. President Biden must finally prove he can lead on the world stage by punishing Putin through crippling economic sanctions, providing aid to the brave Ukrainians fighting for democracy, and unleashing American energy production to offset Russian imports.

As our adversaries look on, it's time we restore American strength and power on the international stage.
Rep. Jake LaTurner, R-KS

Sen. Roger Marshall, a Republican from Kansas, also called for military aid to Ukraine and sanctions against Russia in a statement late Thursday morning: “It’s time for the White House and our NATO partners to show strength and resolve as we stand with the people of Ukraine during the greatest breach of peace in Europe in nearly 80 years. The United States must provide additional defensive aid to our Ukrainian allies and unleash severe and crippling economic sanctions on Russia."

Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican from Missouri who will not seek re-election later this year, also weighed in:

Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is an assault against democracy and a destabilizing threat to all of Europe with worldwide ramifications. Our adversaries and allies alike are watching how we respond. We must work with our allied nations to hold Russia accountable. That includes crippling economic sanctions and direct support for Ukraine. A failure to act forcefully will only embolden Russia and other authoritarian nations that seek to undermine peace and democracy around the world.

For almost eight decades, Western Europe has been a united force with U.S. leadership. It’s important that our newest NATO allies understand our steadfast defensive military commitment to them at this critical moment.
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-MO

Putin has invoked false claims that Nazism has infiltrated the Ukrainian government led by Presiden Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is Jewish.

The Aushwitz-Birkenau Memorial in Poland responded to the invasion and condemned it as well. A statement from the museum read, in part:

We express our absolute solidarity with the citizens and residents of the free, independent, and sovereign Ukraine and with all Russians who have the courage to oppose this war.

At this moment, the free and democratic world must show if it has learned its lesson from the passivity of the 1930s. Today, it is clear that any symptom of indifference is a sign of complicity.
Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial

Former Secretary of State of Mike Pompeo, who has praised Putin along with former President Trump, blamed Biden and Europe for Russia's invasion without explicitly condemning the unprovoked aggression.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Ukraine," Pompeo said in a statement. "The Russian invasion of Ukraine is the result of the Biden Administration’s and Europe’s failure to deter and impose costs on Vladimir Putin’s regime. Our response now requires more than the condemnation of world leaders. We must, united, act swiftly to impose real costs on Putin’s regime beyond the sanctions already imposed. If we do not confront actions that disrupt peace and disregard sovereignty with strength, we will only invite more deadly and brazen attacks in the future."