WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today stood with Senate Republican colleagues urging a firm response to Vladimir Putin’s shameless aggression against Ukraine. Wicker traveled to Ukraine Monday to meet with senior Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The Senators expressed the need to act decisively in support of Ukraine, including through arms sales and proactive sanctions on Moscow. Wicker discussed Putin’s intentions and aims, making clear that Russian militarism may not stop at Ukraine.
“Let me say this about Vladimir Putin: the Russian people are led by someone who is nostalgic about the tsarist period of Russia,” Wicker said. “President Reagan correctly called the USSR an ‘evil empire.’ Vladimir Putin is nostalgic for this evil empire and that is why he has done what he has done.”
Wicker also blasted Putin for his extended record of malign action and urged that the United States and its allies respond to an invasion of Ukraine by forcing Putin to pay a heavy price.
“He poisons political opponents. He assassinates former members of the administration that oppose him publicly. He has invaded Georgia. He has invaded Ukraine,” Wicker said. “And as of yet, nobody has given Vladimir Putin a bloody nose for any of this. I think that the alliance – our friends in NATO and a bipartisan majority – are prepared to assist Ukraine in making sure that if it happens this time, Vladimir Putin will get a bloody nose.”
The Mississippi senator called for reinforced support of the Ukrainian people following his visit to Kyiv and conversation with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Wicker described Ukraine as a country of 40 million people who “remember what it was like not to be free and to be under the thumb of Soviet Russia.”
“They will fight,” Wicker said of the Ukrainian people. “We need to be an integral part of doing more than has already been announced. And we need to make sure that if Vladimir Putin takes this step and makes this mistake for his countrymen, and this mistake against his neighbors, it will be a mistake that he will long regret and long remember.”