As Russia Attacks Civilian Targets, West Must Help Ukraine Finish Fight
‘[T]he Biden Administration needs to start moving at the speed of relevance and give our friends in Ukraine the lethal tools they need to finish their fight. For our part, as we work to provide for the common defense, the Senate must invest in a defense industrial base that can sustain America’s support for Ukraine while equipping our own forces to deter further threats from Russia and China.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding NDAA:
“Russia’s violence against civilian infrastructure in Ukraine continues. But the consequences of this unilateral destruction extend far beyond Ukraine’s borders.
“Just a week has passed since Vladimir Putin pulled out of the agreement that had allowed critical Ukrainian grain shipments to transit the Black Sea unharmed. But already, Russia has expanded from threatening vessels carrying the world’s grain supply to attacking grain storage in Odessa and other coastal cities.
“Yesterday’s attacks are the latest in a wave of violence against agricultural infrastructure that will punish the world’s poorest and hungriest nations.
“Leaders in the developing world who have hesitated to cast blame in this conflict should take a careful look at Russia’s unprovoked behavior.
“But Russia hasn’t limited its non-military targets to grain supplies.
“On Sunday, Russia struck Odessa’s largest Orthodox cathedral with a deadly missile barrage. So much for Russian propaganda efforts to present the Kremlin as a defender of the faithful.
“Of course, Vladimir Putin – like his Soviet predecessors – has already done so much to corrupt and control the Russian orthodox church that we should not be surprised by his disrespect for religious institutions.
“So, Mr. President, let’s be very clear: A regime that exploits clerics as propagandists and agents of influence and destroys historic houses of worship is not a friend to believers.
“Now, as Ukraine’s counteroffensive makes slow progress, the United States and our allies can be sure of a few things.
“First, our friends are using the munitions we’ve sent them, including the cluster munitions that are now hammering Russian positions in occupied Ukraine.
“Second, at every step of the way, the Biden Administration’s indecision and inaction has meant certain key capabilities have arrived late to the battlefield.
“And third, additional long-range fires would help Ukraine put Russian invaders on the back foot, as our friends already demonstrated by successfully using British Storm Shadow cruise missiles.
“So the Biden Administration needs to start moving at the speed of relevance and give our friends in Ukraine the lethal tools they need to finish their fight.
“For our part, as we work to provide for the common defense, the Senate must invest in a defense industrial base that can sustain America’s support for Ukraine while equipping our own forces to deter further threats from Russia and China.”