For over a month, the Ukrainian people have endured and fought back valiantly against a brutal and unprovoked attack by Russia’s forces, resulting in the deaths of over a thousand civilians and the decimation of cities and towns. Destroyed homes and the bodies of Ukrainian men, women and children buried under rubble or lying dead in the streets exemplify the horror that Russian President Vladimir Putin has unleashed by his decision to wage unwarranted war against a sovereign neighbor.
Nothing can compare to the suffering of the people of Ukraine.
The Russian people are suffering too. The parents and families of the thousands of Russian troops who have been killed in the further invasion into Ukraine are grieving the loss of their children. Russian police have made more than 15,000 arrests of anti-war protestors in cities across the country. The Russian economy has been hit by severe economic sanctions. Over the past month, observers estimate over two hundred thousand Russians have left their homeland.
In an address in Warsaw at the end of his recent trip to Europe, President Biden unequivocally told the Ukrainian people, “We stand with you.”
He also had a message for the people of Russia: “You are not our enemy,” he said. “I refuse to believe that you welcome the killing of innocent children and grandparents or that you accept hospitals, schools, maternity wards that, for God’s sake, are being pummeled with Russian missiles and bombs, or cities being surrounded so that civilians cannot flee; supplies cut off and attempting to starve Ukrainians into submission.”
President Biden said that “of all people,” and like so many more across Europe, the Russians still hold the memories of the horrors of the siege of Leningrad and Stalingrad in World War II, with no food, water, and medicines, nights of sheltering in basements and cellars, and mornings spent picking through the remnants of bombed homes.
“Vladimir Putin’s aggression has cut you, the Russian people, off from the rest of the world,” said President Biden. “This is not the future you deserve for your families and children. . .This war is not worthy of you, the Russian people.”
“Putin can and must end this war,” President Biden declared. “The American people stand with you and the brave citizens of Ukraine who want peace.”