U.S. Sen. Rob Portman: Difference being made in Ukraine

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 16, 2022

This week is the 77th anniversary of what’s called VE Day, that’s the day when the war in Europe ended in World War II.

The United States finally led the allies to defeat the tyranny of Nazi Germany and liberate millions of people. And then in the Cold War, we led the world again to defeat the encroachment of Soviet communism on Eastern Europe, and again millions of people were liberated, including Ukrainians.

We cannot forget this because as we look at Ukraine, what do we see? The same thing, people who yearn to be free. That’s all they want, is to live in freedom, in their own sovereign, independent country. And once again, the United States and our allies are standing with the Europeans fighting to hold on to their freedom in the face of this illegal, unprovoked, and brutal attack.

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(…) In the past month the Ukrainian armed forces have repositioned to the East taking with them the same tactic and the same coordination, and by using these small teams trained by NATO to coordinate tactical reconnaissance provided by drones and highly accurate artillery, they have again thwarted Russian attempts to gain more ground in the East.

(…) They are defending their homeland fiercely and that’s the single most important element to their success. But, we owe a great debt to our troops who trained the Ukrainians—many of whom were National Guardsmen perhaps from your state—and our British, Canadian and other NATO partners who helped the Ukrainian military become the effective battlefield force we see today.

(…) It shows why U.S. leadership around the world is so important. Without the foresight and bipartisan action of Congress and multiple administrations, including the Obama, Trump, and now Biden administrations, what Ukraine is doing now would not have been possible.

That’s why it’s so important that we take up this Ukrainian Supplemental immediately, this week, and pass it into law. We have made a difference, and we can continue to make a difference but we are at a crucial point in this war.

There is much more to be done, but I am hopeful. I am hopeful because of what we have all seen. Over the past two months, the resiliency and fortitude of not only the Ukrainian armed forces, but the Ukrainian people have shown the world what patriotism and bravery truly is.
— Excerpted from Senate floor remarks