WASHINGTON, DC – Today, after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a virtual address to a joint gathering of Congress and President Joe Biden announced $800 million in new military aid to help Ukrainian forces defend against Russia's illegal and immoral invasion, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement:

“President Zelensky embodies the heart, determination, and courage of the people he represents.  He has inspired and galvanized the free world in the face of Putin’s relentless and unprovoked aggression.

“This was a moving and powerful speech.  The contrast between Zelensky and Putin couldn’t be more stark: Zelensky is a servant of the people who is defending his homeland and humanity, while Putin has robbed Russia to enrich himself and launched this brutal, reckless onslaught under false and irrational pretenses.

“Putin’s invasion is based on a strategy of lies, repression, and deception.  He relies on conscripted forces and a misinformation campaign at home and abroad.  Meanwhile, Ukraine’s defense is based on transparency and a volunteer force of citizens fighting for their freedom.  Ukrainian troops and the Ukrainian people are performing heroically.

“President Biden, Congress, and the American people are united in our support for Ukraine.  President Biden has been steadfast in leading our allies and partners and coordinating efforts to provide significant security and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.  Today, President Zelensky acknowledged that this aid is making a world of difference.  He thanked Americans, who are paying an economic cost for this war.

“President Zelensky also wisely acknowledged that: “To be the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace.”  That is indeed the United States’ role here.  President Biden, along with European leaders and others, have set a prudent course of action to punish Putin for shattering peace in Europe. If Putin sought to weaken NATO and the international community, he has found himself badly mistaken. The international community is united in a way not seen in generations, and Russia is already straining under the immense costs levied against it.

“The U.S. must continue to work for peace using the strength and spectrum of our diplomatic, security, and economic capabilities.  We are delivering needed help to Ukraine and coordinating with our allies to keep the pressure on Putin and hold him accountable.

“Americans will continue to be an unwavering force for peace, democracy, and freedom and a check against this kind of immoral aggression.”