One year ago today, President Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine following months of deceit about why Russia had amassed huge numbers of soldiers on Ukraine’s border. It was then that Russia’s forces illegally crossed into Ukraine’s sovereign territory to wage a war that has needlessly killed tens of thousands of people and harmed millions more.
President Putin’s decision has ripped apart families, forced millions from their communities, destroyed homes, schools, hospitals, and other civilian infrastructure, exacerbated a global food crisis, destabilized energy markets, and undermined international peace and security. This war has shredded Russia’s international reputation, left Russia weakened and isolated, and decimated its economy. This war is an attempt to seize territory from Ukraine and thwart its independent, democratic trajectory.
As, the President said in Kyiv this week, “One year later, Kyiv stands and Ukraine stands.” Ukraine’s fight and its people’s resolve and resilience have emerged as an inspiration to the world, showing they will not be cowed. Ukraine’s indomitable will has rallied the world to its cause, with people of conscience around the globe united behind Ukraine, and with repeated calls from the halls of the UN for Russia to end its war of choice.
President Putin started this illegal war, and he has the power to end it. The United States stands strongly with Ukraine as it defends itself, and we will continue to do so until Ukraine’s sovereignty is respected and the people of Ukraine can shape their chosen, democratic future in freedom and peace.