FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DETROIT - In response to Russia President Vladimir Putin’s illegal recognition of Ukrainian regions Luhansk and Donetsk as independent states and subsequent invasion by Russia troops in eastern Ukraine, Mykola Murskyj, Chair of the Ukrainian-American Crisis Response Committee of Michigan, released the following statement:
“In Michigan, the Ukrainian-American community and so many more of our fellow Americans watch with horror as regular Russian troops and ever more tanks and heavy equipment openly roll onto sovereign Ukrainian territory. We hear stories from our friends and loved ones who are preparing to evacuate, or if they’re able, to stand and defend their homes.
“The United States should immediately sanction those Russian leaders who played a role in Russian troops once again entering the sovereign territory of Ukraine. Sanctioning the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics is a positive step, but it will not deter the Kremlin.
“We call on President Biden to immediately sign an Executive Order with sanctions that would automatically snap into place should Russian troops cross the contact line. The President needs to articulate them clearly beforehand to deter the Kremlin.
“Far too few Russian oligarchs are sanctioned. Far too many still have access to their beach houses and money-laundering institutions in the U.S. and Europe.
“We call on our President to ask the UN to send peacekeepers and for the OSCE to immediately send additional observers to monitor the situation in Ukraine’s easternmost regions.
“We call our friends and neighbors, people of goodwill and compassion here in our collective Michiganian home, to contact their elected representatives. Congress must pass — as soon as possible — a package with increasing gradations of sanctions. Sanctions of increasing security should automatically snap into place with increasing incursion into Ukraine’s territory and against Ukraine’s people.
“Together, we all can do our part to support freedom and democracy and prevent yet another major war in Europe.”