Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-AL04) recently updated his constituents on the situation with Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
“Like me, I'm sure most of you are closely following the developments as Russia has invaded the sovereign nation of Ukraine,” Aderholt said. “Putin says Ukraine and NATO are a threat to Russia's security. The reality is that democratic, free nations on Putin's border are a threat to Putin, not Russia. Putin is afraid that freedom might start to spread in his own nation and he would be in danger.”
Aderholt was in Europe visiting troops in NATO countries on the Russian border.
“This past week I got to visit our American troops who are stationed in Lithuania as part of NATO,” Aderholt said. “They are there as a stark reminder and deterrent to Putin from spreading his totalitarianism any farther into Europe. The soldier seen above is from Alabama. Our forces there are dedicated and determined to [protect] freedom at home and abroad.”
Lithuania, like Ukraine, was a former member of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and has a long history of territorial designs by the Russians on their territory. Following the dissolution of the USSR, Lithuania, like many eastern European countries, joined NATO and the European Union. Ukraine wanted to do the same thing, which Russia has forbidden.
Russia responded to the toppling of a pro-Russian regime in Ukraine with an invasion of their Crimean region in 2014. Russia has since annexed Crimea and funded rebellions in the Lugansk and Donetsk regions of Eastern Ukraine. Last week, Russia recognized the independence of both breakaway regions and then occupied them both “for their defense.” The Russians then began a bombing campaign of all of unoccupied Ukraine and then began a ground invasion.
“Putin is a tyrant attacking a sovereign nation,” U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama) said. “I condemn this unnecessary war and implore the free world to cripple Russia with sanctions. The United States stands with the Ukrainian people and will support them with the supplies and financial aid needed to protect their country.”
Tuberville is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
As of press time, Russian troops have taken the Chernobyl nuclear power facility and have entered Kiev, Kirov, and Odessa. Donetsk is held by the Russian-backed separatists. To this point, no major cities have fallen to the Russians but street fighting is taking place in Kiev.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who was an actor and comedian prior to his election, has rejected an offer by the Biden administration to leave the country and has vowed to fight on even with Russian troops in his capital.
The Biden administration has pledged $340 million of military aid to Ukraine and has said that on Monday he will ask Congress for an $8 billion aid package to help the country. Germany, Poland, and other NATO countries have also pledged to send aid. American-made fire-and-forget Lancer anti-tank missiles, supplied to Ukraine by the Trump and Biden administrations, have made a significant contribution to the Ukrainian defense effort, according to early reports.
Sweden and Finland have openly begun discussions about joining NATO. Putin responded to that by threatening both countries if they pursue that course of action.
Ukraine has agreed to negotiate a settlement with Russia but has vowed not to capitulate to Russian demands.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has put his nuclear forces on alert.
(Fox News, the New York Times, International Business Times, and Washington Post have contributed to this report.)
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