In PA, the state with the highest Ukrainian-American population by percent, local politicians respond to Russia-Ukraine conflict
Pennsylvania politicians respond after Vladimir Putin invades Ukraine.
By the morning of Thursday, Feb. 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin had declared war on Ukraine, launching a full-scale invasion with land, air, and sea forces.
A Russia-Ukraine conflict has been ongoing for eight years with escalations in 2021 leading into the recent invasion.
Pennsylvania is the state in the U.S. with the highest Ukrainian-American population by percent, and the second highest by individual population after New York.
In the U.S. state, politicians have been sharing their responses. Since many of these responses have been posted, U.S. President Joe Biden has announced incoming sanctions on Russia.
Governor Tom Wolf
This morning, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf shared President Biden’s condemning of Russia’s attack, calling the invasion unjustified.
Despite the growing conflicts of the past, Wolf found the attack “shocking,” since Ukraine had not provoked the attack and is considered a peaceful country.
Wolf ended his response by urging democratic leaders to unite in condemning Russia. He also reached out to Ukrainian-Americans and others in PA who may have family and loved ones in the country.
I stand with @POTUS in condemning the unprovoked and unjustified Russian military invasion of the independent country of Ukraine.— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) February 24, 2022
This attack on a peaceful country is shocking.
I urge democratic leaders across the globe to unite and respond decisively to this unlawful attack.
U.S. Senator Bob Casey
U.S. Senator Bob Casey shared a typed statement on Putin’s invasion of Russia.
Casey called the invasion “an aggressive escalation” intended to derail a sense of international order and undermine in-place democrats systems.
The senator did not ignore former U.S. President Trump’s approval of Putin’s plans, days before the invasion would take complete hold over the region.
Casey approved of Biden and other world leaders’ condemning and sanctioning of Russia, and highlighted the importance of uniting allies now and in the future.
My statement on Russian President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine: pic.twitter.com/HrMojohKQ7— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) February 23, 2022
U.S. Senator Pat Toomey
U.S. Senator Pat Toomey echoed sentiments of prayer for the Ukrainian citizens.
Toomey emphasized the likelihood for high casualties counts in the conflict, many who will be innocent civilians. He also mentioned global security concerns.
Senator Toomey shared the call for Biden to impose immediate and impactful sanctions on Russia, and shared a hope for Congress to pass the NYET Act to harm Russia’s financial sector.
My prayers are with the Ukrainian people.— Senator Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) February 24, 2022
Putin has launched a war of aggression against a neighboring state. His war will cost many thousands of innocent lives and threaten security around the world.
PA Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta
State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta is a democratic candidate for the U.S. senate. Last night, the North Philly-based democrat shared his thoughts on Putin’s decision.
Kenyatta called Putin’s decision to invade a “path of death and destruction,” and stood with the citizens of Ukraine.
Referencing the violence which will insure — impending financial insecurity resulting from sanctions on Russian — Kenyatta called Putin’s decision one certain to “not advance the lives of the Russian people and bring needless pain and suffering.”
Vladimir Putin has chosen a path of death and destruction that will not advance the lives of the Russian people and bring needless pain and suffering.— Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (@malcolmkenyatta) February 24, 2022
Tonight my heart is with the people of Ukraine. I stand with them and all who seek peace.
U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle
Democrat Brendan Boyle, representative of PA’s 2nd congressional district, disagreed with the motives behind Putin’s attack.
Boyle called Putin evil, and said he “yearns for the old days of the Soviet Empire.” Boyle’s comment points out Putin’s motive opposed to the Russian president’s cited intention.
The representative echoed sentiments to stand with Ukraine, resist Putin, and ensure his failure in the invasion going forward.
Putin is evil. He yearns for the old days of the Soviet Empire. We will resist him. He will fail. 🇺🇸 🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine— US Rep Brendan Boyle (@RepBrendanBoyle) February 24, 2022
U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans
Congressman Dwight Evans, the representative for PA’s 3rd congressional district, called for accountability not just for Putin, but also those who have enabled him and his agenda.
In his support of President Biden, Evans said Russia should pay a “major price” and called for Biden and allies to carry out a taxing punishment.
Congressman Evans concluded his Tweet by acknowledging his support of Ukrainian citizens, and concern over how the conflict will affect them.
Putin and those who enable him must pay a major price for his attacks on Ukraine. I support @POTUS Biden and our allies as they work to make that happen, and I stand with Ukrainian civilians who are going to be the most affected.— Congressman Dwight Evans (@RepDwightEvans) February 24, 2022
U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean
Representative of the PA’s 4th congressional district, Madeleine Dean, called Putin a dictator in a Tweet last night.
The representative shared sentiments of “prayer” for Ukraine during the unprovoked attack.
Dean believes Putin must be held accountable for his attack, for intentionally devastating Ukraine, and bringing violence to Europe and potentially the world.
My prayers are with the people of Ukraine as they face unprovoked and unjust attacks across their sovereign nation at the hands of a dictator.— Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (@RepDean) February 24, 2022
Mr. Putin is responsible for the devastation and must be held accountable for bringing violence and instability to Europe and the world.
U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan
Representative of PA’s 6th congressional district, Rep. Chrissy Houlahan called today a sad day for both democracy and humanity.
Like many others, Rep. Houlahan called the invasion unprovoked, but also acknowledged past conflict by calling the invasion premeditated.
Today is a sad day for humanity and democracy.— Chrissy Houlahan (@RepHoulahan) February 24, 2022
Putin's premeditated and unprovoked act of aggression against Ukraine cannot and will not go unpunished.
U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick
Brian Fitzpatrick is the representative for PA’s 1st congressional district. The representative offered an extended response to the unfolding conflict, linking a press release.
Fitzpatrick called the invasion a rejection of diplomacy, and Putin’s decision a “brutal, senseless” path to war with a “friend and ally.”
The representative also echoed calls for sanctions against Putin and Russia, and suggested actions should be taken to increase Ukraine’s military force.
Putin has rejected diplomacy and chosen the path of brutal, senseless war with our friend and ally, Ukraine. The US and our allies must unleash the most crippling sanctions against Russia and do whatever it takes to swiftly bolster Ukraine’s military capabilities. (1/2)— Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick 🇺🇸 (@RepBrianFitz) February 24, 2022
PA Rep. Danilo Burgos
Burgos is a Philadelphia representative in Harrisburg from District 197, comprising parts of North Philadelphia including Kensington, Hunting Park, Feltonville and more.
He released his response on to the war on Ash Wednesday (March 2), calling out Putin's behavior "cold-hearted" and "self-indulgent," and also calling attention to the fragility of the institutions we hold dear in free society.
"Perhaps we can learn from these present circumstances just how fragile and precious our democracies are and the high value we place upon them. It was the deepest desire of Jesus’ life ‘that all may be one.’ In this hour of darkness, let us renew our commitment to those principles and values that are the foundation of unity," Burgos said in a release.