Shortly after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed Congress via video Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis told N.C. reporters that Vladimir Putin and members of his regime must be held accountable for the numerous acts of war, aggression, and human rights abuses perpetrated under his watch.
“I for one believe that we should use every possible option to arm the Ukrainian people,” Tillis said.
Zelenskyy called on the United States to ramp up its aid to Ukraine.
“Right now, the destiny of our country is being decided, the destiny of our people,” said Zelenskyy, who drew a standing ovation from Congress at the start of his speech from Kyiv. “Whether Ukrainians will be free, whether they will be able to preserve their democracy.”
“Putin has failed strategically and tactically,” said Tillis. “We know he thought he could have air superiority within about 24 hours and completed his occupation within 10 or 12 days. Now we are going into the 21st or 22nd day. We have to keep our foot on the accelerator. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has resulted in the deaths of countless Ukrainian citizens, bombing of residential areas and hospitals, and led to the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.”
“Putin and his cronies’ war crimes must be investigated, and they must be held accountable for these despicable actions.”
U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, R-8th District, expressed similar thoughts:
“We must now do more to provide Ukraine lethal aid including MiGs and air defense and shut off Russia’s ability to prolong their heinous war. We stand with the people of Ukraine and cannot lead from behind,” said Hudson.
Tillis further added that countries that help Russia evade economic sanctions should also be punished.
The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution co-introduced by Tillis that:
- Strongly condemns the ongoing violence, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and systematic human rights abuses continually being carried out by the Russian Armed Forces and their proxies and Putin’s military commanders, at the direction of Putin.
- Encourages nations to take any and all action to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Russian Armed Forces and their proxies, and Putin’s military commanders, at the direction of Putin.
- Supports any investigation into war crimes, crimes against humanity, and systematic human rights abuses levied by Putin, the Russian Security Council, the Russian Armed Forces and their proxies, and Putin’s military commanders.
- Encourages the United States Government and partner nations to use its voice, vote, and influence in international institutions in which they are members to hold Putin, the Russian Security Council, the Russian Armed Forces and their proxies, and President Putin’s military commanders accountable for their sponsorship of ongoing violence, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and systematic human rights abuses.
The resolution can be found here.