Putin’s attack draws bipartisan rebuke from Wisconsin’s elected officials as Russian forces kill Ukrainian soldiers and civilians.
Wisconsin leaders on Thursday panned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, calling on consequences for Russian President Vladimir Putin and sanctions on his country for the attacks that began less than a day earlier following a lengthy buildup.
President Joe Biden on Thursday called the invasion “a brutal assault on the people of Ukraine” and announced new sanctions against Russia for Putin’s denial of Ukrainian independence. At least 40 Ukrainian soldiers and 10 civilians had been killed as of Thursday afternoon, a Ukrainian official told CNN.
Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin condemned Putin, saying in a statement he “has violated international law, invading a sovereign and democratic nation that wants peace and independence.” She called for stronger sanctions against Russia in retaliation.
“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,” Baldwin said.
Gov. Tony Evers said in a tweet he and his wife “are praying for the Ukrainian people, including the millions of kids, whose lives have been upended by Russia’s unprovoked invasion.”
“I join leaders across the world in condemning this attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty and support efforts to hold Russia accountable,” Evers said.
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson said “people who only want to live in peace will suffer the consequences” of Putin’s invasion.
“Ultimately, there is only one group of people responsible for the tragedies unfolding—Vladimir Putin and his cronies,” Johnson said. “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.”
Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Green Bay) called Putin “a KGB thug who understands no language except force,” but he also criticized the Biden administration for “demonstrat[ing] little urgency, creativity, or willingness to admit errors and adapt.” Gallagher had previously criticized Biden for only issuing sanctions and strong statements against the potential invasion.
Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) also chose to criticize the administration even as more US troops were being moved to eastern Europe. Tiffany claimed Russia’s invasion was “a direct result of failed Biden administration policies” that made the US too reliant on Russian oil. (The US gets less than 10% of its imported oil from Russia, according to the US Energy Information Administration.)
Rep. Ron Kind (D-La Crosse), chair of the British American Parliamentary Group, said he is in the United Kingdom this week to meet with UK leaders and British lawmakers to discuss “coordination of sanctions” against Russia.
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