DETROIT, February 25 — Mykola Murskyj, Chair of the Ukrainian-American Crisis Response Committee of Michigan (UACrisisResponse.org), issued the following statement in response to the sanctions announced by the White House:
Our Ukrainian-American community is grateful for the support the United States provided to Ukraine for many decades and especially in the past few weeks. In particular, we are grateful for America’s sharing of equipment and intelligence.
American support to Ukraine has saved lives and, if it is increased, may save Ukrainian statehood.
At the same time, so many members of our community are disappointed in the sanctions package announced on February 24 by President Biden. Sanctions must have effects immediately, and not just in the long term, if they are to increase the likelihood Russia will stop this war. Moreover, some European countries have been leading by example:
The UK, Poland, and the Czech Republic have banned Russian airlines from their airspace
500,000 brave Russians signed a petition against the war in Ukraine
A number of countries have removed visa requirements for those fleeing Ukraine
The Council of Europe suspended Russia’s right to representation in the Committee of Ministers and in the Parliamentary Assembly.
Why does the United States wait to ban Russian airlines from operating in U.S. airspace? Certainly U.S.-based airlines would not object.
Ukrainians are resisting unjust, unprovoked aggression. Theirs is an existential struggle as Vladimir Putin declared Ukraine a fake country. America must continue to lead the cause of restoring world peace and freedom. We must immediately—
Ban travel to the U.S. and revoke visas for any Russian military or security officials with the rank of "Generál-mayór" or above, and all Russian officers up the chain of command whose units are currently in Ukraine.
Close Ukrainian airspace by establishing a no-fly zone
Freeze any assets of senior Russian officials that are in the U.S.
Seize beach houses, yachts, and luxury property of Russian oligarchs that have not disavowed Putin’s war in Ukraine
Call for UN Peacekeepers to be sent to Ukraine immediately
Expel Russia from SWIFT
Use our cyber capabilities to dismantle Russian command-and-control systems that threaten Ukrainian civilians today
Support the Russian people who are expressing their anger at their government for prosecuting this unjust war
Continue providing weapons Ukrianians need to defend their homeland — eventually Ukraine will run out of the weapons that have already been provided.
Increase the provision of air defense systems to Ukraine, to include the Iron Dome system
Russian attacks on civilian housing, infrastructure, and schools must not go unpunished. This inhumanity must not be allowed to continue. We must increase the pressure on Russian elites until they stop this senseless war — until they too choose peace.
Our collective responsibility is to help Ukrainians fight for human rights and the rule of law. We must fight for sovereignty and territorial integrity of democratic, independent states, as enshrined in the United Nations Charter and in every instrument of international law.
Now, as never before, we respectfully ask everyone to help within their means and especially to pray for Ukraine. Pray for Ukrainian women and children. Pray for Ukrainian soldiers. Pray for the brave Russian protesters who stand against their President’s imperial ambitions. Pray for Russia’s leaders, that they too might join us in seeking peace.