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February 25, 2022

Statement by Administrator Samantha Power

For Immediate Release

Friday, February 25, 2022
Office of Press Relations

The world is now witnessing what Vladimir Putin means when he says he does not want war.

After months of relentless diplomacy in which the United States, Ukraine and our allies engaged with Russia in good faith to avoid further conflict, President Putin has shown he is not interested in peace, but only in power—in invading a neighbor in a premeditated and unprovoked attack, carving up sovereign territory by force, and denying the Ukrainian people the right to live in peace and and determine their own future. He has gone so far as to suggest Ukraine has no ability to exist as a nation separate from Russia, and baselessly and debasingly invoked claims of genocide to create a pretext for this war of choice—a war for which Russia is entirely responsible.

As Russian artillery fire and missiles light up the sky across Ukraine’s historic cities, and tanks and troops illegally flood across the country’s borders, the United States stands with the Ukrainian people, ready to support them and their democracy and independence. And we join nations all around the world in condemning this blatant aggression, in demanding Russia end this war, and in enacting strong sanctions and consequences.

The U.S. government has worked with Ukraine, its neighbors, and our humanitarian assistance partners to prepare for the emergency that this war is now causing. USAID has dispatched a Disaster Assistance Response Team—our nation’s finest international emergency responders—to the region to support the Ukrainian people as they bear the brunt of Russian aggression. We have already responded to a range of needs in the lead-up to the invasion, from cybersecurity support to energy security to countering disinformation as Russia attempts to disrupt critical infrastructure and communications. And we will continue to ramp up access to primary and trauma medical care, food, clean water, and shelter. But despite the immense, multinational efforts to prepare for this scenario, we know that many Ukrainians will needlessly suffer at the hands of Russian aggression. In the coming days and weeks, we will be continually calibrating our response in light of developments on the ground in both Ukraine and neighboring countries.

For 30 years now, the United States has been working to support the Ukrainian people’s dream of a free, independent, and prosperous Ukraine. For eight years, brave Ukrainians fought and died for that dream after Russia invaded Crimea and the Donbas region. Today, as a result of President Putin’s flagrant disregard for human life and Ukrainian sovereignty, many more will suffer. But the dream—and America’s support for it—will never die.