Tennessee leaders denounce Putin, criticize Biden as Russia invades Ukraine

Russia Invasion generic
Posted at 3:45 PM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 16:45:11-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tennessee lawmakers have joined leaders across the world in denouncing Russia's decision to launch a broad military assault on Ukraine.

While some leaders from the Volunteer State are condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin, others have focused on criticizing the Biden Administration's response to the conflict.

U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty spoke out against President Biden's strategy leading up to the invasion.

"Ukraine and its people are now under attack. The Russian dictator has brought war to the European continent. President Biden’s strategy to prevent this invasion has failed. Despite Ukrainian President Zelensky’s persistent call for pre-invasion sanctions, the Biden Administration chose to do nothing until it was too late and must now change course. I’m calling on President Biden to immediately demonstrate American strength by moving to reclaim our energy independence, secure our own borders, put in place safeguards to protect our critical infrastructure, impose decisive economic and financial hardship on Putin’s regime, work with our Allies and partners, including NATO, to boost Ukraine’s capability to defend itself, and strengthen NATO’s own defensive capabilities. President Biden must recognize the gravity and severity of this moment and do everything in his power to protect the safety and security of the American people."

- Sen. Hagerty

U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburntweeted her prayers for the people of Ukraine while also calling for more severe sanctions against Russia.

"We pray for the people of Ukraine as they defend against Putin's attempt to rebuild the old Soviet Union. Biden must stand up to Putin and immediately levy severe sanctions against Russia — starting with removal from the SWIFT banking system.

The USA stands with Ukraine."

- Sen. Blackburn

U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper called Putin "the new Stalin," while calling for further sanctions.

"Dictators like Putin have a short-term advantage, particularly in their own back yard. But his naked aggression will not be rewarded because the rest of the world sees Putin as he is – the new Stalin. NATO and our allies must sanction Putin until he bleeds. President Biden has done a good job of rallying the free world against Putin. Dictators never succeed for long. We must do all we can to hasten Putin’s fall."

- Rep. Cooper

U.S. Rep. Mark Green said Putin has chosen devastation over democracy.

"Vladimir Putin’s end goal has been on display for some time now. Instead of swift, crippling sanctions, the Biden Administration chose the wait-and-watch approach. In the midst of destabilizing Russian aggression, the time for action was months ago. We all witnessed Putin’s false flag propaganda play out—just like U.S. intelligence officials predicted. This invasion has been anticipated for weeks.

While in Kyiv, I spoke with many Ukrainians. They are capable of defending their home—they are resilient. However, despots around the world, including China, are watching as Vladimir Putin has his way. As the world witnesses this invasion, our prayers remain with our fellow Americans on the ground in Eastern Europe—including those from Fort Campbell—and with the brave people of Ukraine. Vladimir Putin has chosen devastation over democracy, and the free world will not forget it."

- Rep. Green

In a series of tweets, U.S. Rep Scott DesJarlais largely criticized the Biden Administration's response to the conflict.

"As we watch this preventable attack occur our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Ukraine. This administration is failing at home and on the world stage.

Our country is in crisis due to out of touch policies that are being driven by the socialist wing of the Democratic Party. We must unite as Americans and reverse course NOW!"

- Rep. DesJarlais

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann called for global leaders to work together to cut off Russia's access to international financial markets.

"Last night, the world witnessed Vladimir Putin’s aggression as he launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian armed forces. The time has come for the United States to swiftly impose strong, crippling sanctions against Russia’s oil and natural gas production, access to international financial markets, and work with our allies and partners in NATO, Europe, and worldwide to impose the harshest penalties possible on Putin and the supporters of his totalitarian regime. The United States and our allies must do everything possible to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to defend itself through military and financial aid, and ensure that Putin knows that his lawless aggression will not stand."

- Rep. Fleischmann

U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett largely criticized Biden in his statement, calling the administration's sanctions against Russia ineffective.

"The disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan and other foreign policy debacles gave Vladimir Putin the green light to invade Ukraine’s Donbas region. In response, President Biden is predictably continuing to project weakness by imposing ineffective financial sanctions against Russian oligarchs and minor banks. The Biden administration should instead hit Russia’s economy where it actually hurts by reversing its woke fossil fuels agenda and becoming an energy exporter to European markets."

- Rep. Burchett

In a tweet, U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, who is currently in Europe, compared Putin to Adolf Hilter.

"The horror of war has commenced in Ukraine. Putin has joined Hitler as an evil, amoral individual who the World needs to cripple with ultimate sanctions and condemnations. UKRAINE STAY RESOLUTE!! YOU ARE NOT ALONE!"

- Rep. Cohen