Mich. officials' statements in support of Ukraine; condemning Russia's invasion

Russia invaded Ukraine early on Thursday with some of the first explosions in Kyiv, the country's capital. Explosions were also heard in the cities of Kharkiv and Odessa. Russian military vehicles have also crossed through borders.

The country has been targeted from the east, north, and south. As of Thursday morning, Oleksii Arestovich, an adviser to Ukraine’s president, said about 40 people have been killed in the Russian attack, and several dozen are wounded.

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Michigan officials have made statements in support of Ukraine while condemning Russia's invasion.

Senator Debbie Stabenow

"I share the horror of the many Ukrainian-Americans in Michigan of this brutal, unprovoked, and unjustified attack by President Putin on the people of Ukraine. America will stand strong with all of our allies to do everything we can to protect their freedom and independence and save lives."

Senator Gary Peters

"I unequivocally condemn Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine – an appalling and illegal assault on a sovereign nation and democracy itself. This is a dark and dangerous moment. The U.S. and our European allies must send Putin an unmistakable message by swiftly enacting crippling sanctions to hold Russia accountable. NATO must stand united and resolute in our support for the Ukrainian people. I remain committed to working with the Biden Administration and my colleagues to do our part. My heart goes out to the people of Ukraine, who are victims of this unprovoked war, and I stand with the American people — including the more than 39,000 Michiganders of Ukrainian descent — in opposing this aggression."

Congressman Andy Levin

"Russia’s attack on Ukraine, a sovereign country with the right to self-determination, is unacceptable. I am resolved to work with my colleagues in Congress, President Biden and our transatlantic partners to ensure Russian President Vladimir Putin and others around him are held accountable for this gross violation of the most basic tenets of international order. President Biden is right to impose new sanctions on Russia and I commend Germany for suspending certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and for other U.S. allies and partners, like the EU, Japan and Australia, for imposing their own sanctions.

"In the immediate moment, my heart aches for the Ukrainians who are already suffering from Russia’s latest invasion of Eastern Ukraine and their loved ones, including my constituents in Michigan’s Ukrainian-American community. If the fighting escalates, the toll on civilians will be immense, adding to the 14,000 deaths that have already occurred since Russia’s 2014 invasion and creating grave humanitarian and economic crises. I am deeply concerned about the prospect for massive civilian suffering and for the families that will be forced to flee violent conflict."

"I am proud to have long supported sending more defensive lethal and non-lethal aid to Ukraine; we must ensure that Ukraine continues to have the best tools to defend itself. I have also called for imposing crushing sanctions on the Russian government, Putin and his regime in the event of a new military assault. Now is the time to impose them. We must also prepare to support and protect civilians who are being forcibly displaced by surging humanitarian relief resources where people are fleeing."

"At the same time, with lives and livelihoods of the people of Ukraine, Russia and indeed the international community at stake, I am committed to working with the Biden administration and our European allies to find ways to de-escalate. Recent statements from Russia and NATO indicate there are areas of mutual agreement on nuclear arms control, conventional military force postures and confidence-building measures that can and must be pursued."

"Finally, I call on the international community to focus on supporting the people of Ukraine. We must remain united in the face of Russia’s war against Ukraine so that Putin’s violent gambit comes at a price the Russian people will not accept."

Congressman John Moolenaar 

"We must impose severe sanctions on Russia as soon as possible, and the NYET Act will make that happen. I am supporting this legislation because it is a smart, targeted approach that will hurt Russian financial institutions and the powerful people who prop up Vladimir Putin’s government. It will also block U.S. exports of semiconductor chips to Russia. We need those chips here to support our economy and manufacturing. Finally, there are more than 39,000 Ukrainian-Americans in Michigan, and I am praying for them and their families. Putin’s invasion will cause massive destruction and endanger their loved ones. I stand ready to work across the aisle in Congress to pass sanctions on Russia and support Ukraine diplomatically during this dark hour." 

Congressman Tim Walberg

"Make no mistake: Vladimir Putin is a thug and there must be decisive consequences for his lawless invasion of Ukraine. The United States and our allies must present a posture of strength against Russia’s unprovoked aggression. It is past time to impose maximum and far-reaching sanctions that cripple Russia’s economy and stifle access to international financial markets. In this dark hour, please join me in prayer for the people of Ukraine and their safety."