February 28, 2022
Statement on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Illinois Division of the Polish American Congress condemns, in the strongest possible terms the Russian military invasion of an independent, sovereign country of Ukraine. The typical Soviet-style propaganda machine and internet hackers are in full operation, trying to turn upside down the reality of who is the aggressor, who is committing genocide, who is killing innocent civilians. Vladimir Putin, with his education at KGB is a master of disinformation, sneak attack and outright lies.
The buildup of Russian troops over many, many months was extremely worrisome yet Putin claimed the notion of a military invasion of Ukraine is ridiculous, Then the recognition by Putin a week ago of the so-called breakaway republics on the Eastern end of Ukraine preceded full military attack on the whole of the country, from multiple directions.
This sudden attack precipitated an unprecedented humanitarian crisis which threatens to destabilize neighboring countries. Poland absorbed, as of today 250,000 refugees but it’s ability to absorb five, ten times that number is highly questionable. Fortunately, EU is taking off some of the load.
Today Ukraine and Russia have commenced peace talks which ended with a promise of a meeting in a few days to continue. We sincerely hope these talks result in the end of senseless killings and destruction of property in the Ukraine, yet are cognizant of the fact that Mr. Putin routinely ignores and violates international law to suit his purpose, he simply cannot be trusted.
We firmly believe that as a first pre-condition of meaningful Peace talks, Russia must fully and unequivocally withdraw from all Ukrainian territory, and also withdraw their troops and military equipment from Belarus. Their presence threatens the security of Poland and adjoining NATO countries. Putin’s threats of nuclear reprisal against West multiply the threat exponentially.
We are heartened by response of the ordinary Ukrainian citizens to a call to arms by the Ukrainian president Zelensky, his personal stance and the truly valiant resistance they are putting up in the face of overwhelming odds, reminiscent to 1939 Poland, but also understand that words of support, by politicians, while creating great sound bites, are quite useless when facing a cannon of a tank or watching cluster bombs exploding.
Therefore, we call on all of NATO and any other countries to RAPIDLY supply the military equipment and munitions to Ukraine that are critically needed. Meanwhile Pres. Biden and the EU countries can push through any and all sanctions against Russia, it’s Oligarchs and Putin. Even most severe sanctions need time to work, time Ukraine does not have.