Texas group calls on Biden, Congress to take measures against Russia, support Ukraine

By Bethany Blankley 

The Ukrainian American Society of Texas has called on President Joe Biden, members of Congress and other leaders to take a range of measures against Russia and to support Ukraine. Most of their requests have been met, but their primary request, to implement a no fly zone over the airspace of Ukraine, has been met with resistance.

“Ukrainians, who recently celebrated 30 years of Independence from the Soviet Union, are now on the frontline of defending Democracy against Autocracy,” the Ukrainian American Society of Texas said. “All freedom loving nations must support Ukraine in its hour of need. Prayer is what anyone can do to help Ukraine as it is the most powerful weapon against evil but we must also stand with Ukraine and meet the needs of the Ukrainian Army and the calls for humanitarian support.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told NATO leaders that he first asked for help on Feb. 24, asking them “to help close our skies, in any format. Protect our people from Russian bombs and missiles. We did not hear a clear answer.”

NATO won’t agree to a no-fly zone because that would mean a full-fledged conflict with Russia, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg maintains.

“The Ukrainian army has been resisting for a month in unequal conditions,” Zelensky said Thursday. “And I have been repeating the same thing for a month now. To save people and our cities, Ukraine needs military assistance, without restrictions. … Ukraine asked for your planes so that we do not lose so many people. But we haven't been given any yet.

“We asked for tanks so that we can unblock our cities that are now dying - Mariupol, Berdyansk, Melitopol, others,” he added. “Cities where Russia is keeping hundreds of thousands of people hostage and artificially creating famine - no water, no food, nothing there.

“You have at least 20,000 tanks. Ukraine asked for a percent, one percent of all your tanks to be given or sold to us. But we do not have a clear answer yet. The worst thing during the war is not having clear answers to requests for help.”

In response, however, Stoltenberg said NATO would provide Ukraine with cyber security assistance, and equipment to protect Ukraine against biological, chemical, radiological, and nuclear weapons.

Biden said the U.S. was committing more than $1 billion in humanitarian relief; welcoming 100,000 Ukrainians to the U.S. to unite with family members, and was committing $320 million to defend human rights in Ukraine and neighboring countries. This is after Congress agreed to provide Ukraine with $13.6 billion in aid, half of which is going to the U.S. Department of Defense to deploy U.S. troops to the region and send equipment to Ukraine.

As of March 22, more than 3.6 million refugees have fled the Ukraine, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports. The majority have gone to Poland, over 2.1 million.

“As the situation continues to unfold, an estimated 4 million people may flee Ukraine,” it says. Currently, Ukraine has a population of 43 million.

The Ukrainian Society of Texas has also called for Ukraine to be admitted to the European Union, which it agreed to do March 10.

It’s called for Russia to be removed from SWIFT and to block assets and transactions of Russian businesses, which has been done in part. Western allies removed selected Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system and imposed restrictive measures on the Russian Central Bank, among other measures.

The group’s also called for action to be taken against Russia for committing war crimes and acts of genocide against Ukrainians. Biden has said he believes Putin is a war criminal, but the U.S. hasn’t issued a formal declaration yet.

In addition to the 100,000 U.S. forces stationed in Europe to defend NATO territory, NATO established four new battle groups in Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Slovakia to reinforce the eastern front, Biden said.

“Putin is getting the opposite of what he intended to have as a consequence of going into Ukraine,” he added.

The Texas group is calling for Chernobyl and other Nuclear facilities in Ukraine to be secured, to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terror, to censure Russia from all international organizations, and to expel Russian oligarch families from the U.S. and all ally nations and seize their assets.

Biden announced Thursday that new sanctions were being imposed on more than 400 individuals and entities, more than 300 members of the Duma, oligarch and Russian defense companies that “fuel the Russian war machine,” he said.

The Texas group is also calling on members of Congress to join the bipartisan Congressional Ukraine Caucus created in 1997, and is asking Americans to contact their members of Congress.

While NATO and the U.S. refuse to take military action, Zelensky said Thursday “that Russia does not intend to stop in Ukraine. Does not intend and will not. It wants to go further against the eastern members of NATO, including the Baltic states, Poland – that's for sure.”

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