Ukraine: Area lawmakers, candidates and residents react

In an unprovoked move, Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday, and local politicians have plenty to say about it.

Butler County Democratic Party Executive Vice Chair Kathy Wyenandt said we are witnessing an “attack on democracy in pursuit of an expansion of authoritarianism.”

“I join people around the world in condemning this senseless aggression. I support President Biden and our global allies as they hold Putin accountable and protect freedom,” Wyenandt said.

ExploreRussia-Ukraine: What to know as Russia attacks Ukraine

Senator Rob Portman, a Republican, called Russia’s actions an illegal, unjustifiable assault on Ukraine.”

He said, “This unwarranted brutality will kill thousands of innocent people and create a massive humanitarian crisis. President Putin’s justification for this attack, to ‘de-Nazify’ Ukraine, along with his comments about the illegitimacy of the sovereign nations of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, is cause for further alarm.

Liberty Twp. resident Karl Monk said he’s been thinking about an American response to Russia’s attack on the Ukraine “non-stop.”

“People need to remember that when Trump and Mattis blew up the Russians in Siria early on, and you never heard from Putin again during Trump’s presidency. This is what I think, but it’s not an answer (to what America’s response should be).

“When Italy, Germany, Turkey, and Austria step up, the United States should then determine what its next steps are.” Until that time, he said the U.S. should be doing “nothing,” he said.

Paul Muckerheide, of Fairfield Twp. said, “There’s very little you can do now.”

“Unless you’re perceived from a position of strength, you have nothing you can do short of military action. I don’t anticipate us doing a military action against Russia.”

ExplorePHOTOS: World reacts as Russia launches full-scale attack on Ukraine

Mike Gomia, commander of the American Legion Post 218, said if the U.S. backs NATO he “fully supports that.”

Gomia said if Putin doesn’t think the United Nations won’t “step in, he’s wrong.”

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, said the invasion is “an affront to freedom and democracy the world over.

“This attack will be met with united, decisive action by the United States and our allies. Vladimir Putin chose war, he is unleashing senseless death and destruction on the Ukrainian people, and he will face the consequences. President Biden has made it clear the U.S. and our allies and partners will impose the strongest sanctions Russia has ever seen, and I will work with the Biden Administration to implement them against Russian officials and oligarchs who prop up Putin’s regime.

“Now is not the moment for partisan division — Americans stand united with all our NATO allies, and we pray for the people of Ukraine,” Portman said.

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Ohio U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance said the invasion is “stark reminder of our own failed leadership. For decades, elites pursued a policy of isolating Russia, which has only had the effect of driving Putin directly into the arms of the Chinese Communists. We wouldn’t be watching the tragedy we’re witnessing today if Russia didn’t have Beijing’s backing. We spent $6 billion on a failed Ukrainian army. Our leaders foolishly pressured Ukraine to give up their nuclear arsenal in the 1990s, which stripped them of their leverage to deter an eventual Russian invasion.

“These supposed ‘experts’ wrongly predicted that these moves would deter Russia instead of provoking them; on this, as with so much else, they were catastrophically wrong,” Vance said.

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