Durbin: Putin’s Legacy Will Be A War Criminal And A Failed Leader Who Weakened Russia

In a speech on the Senate floor, Durbin provides an update on Russia’s unprovoked war, reiterates support for Ukraine

WASHINGTON – Following Memorial Day, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Co-Chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, spoke on the Senate floor highlighting democratic nations’ commitment to defend peace and freedom as Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked war in Ukraine continues.   

Durbin said, “On Memorial Day, we remember those who gave their lives for this country.  And on this Memorial Day, we were reminded, once again, that the struggle to defend freedom is never over.  The peace and freedom for which more than one million American service members gave their lives in World War II is now threatened by a delusional despot, drunk on the fantasy of reclaiming a bygone Russian empire.  And once again, the free nations of the world are united in our determination to defend peace and freedom.”

During his speech, Durbin highlighted the stark contrast between Putin and Ukrainian President Zelensky, who spoke at the Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia, where he argued that nations across the world cannot sit idly by during Russia’s brutal war.  President Zelensky then joined the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, where he spoke with leaders of the world’s major industrialized democracies. 

On the sidelines of the G7, Zelensky also met Indian Prime Minister Modi who said of Russia’s war in Ukraine “for me, it’s a matter of humanity.”  Durbin welcomed Modi’s remarks and said he hoped Modi “will condemn Russia’s war and rethink India’s troubling purchase of Russian oil.”

Durbin also praised President Biden for pledging $375 million in additional military support for Ukraine.  President Biden vowed, “Together with the entire G7, we have Ukraine’s back and I promise we’re not going anywhere.”  President Biden also confirmed the U.S. would join European allies in training Ukrainians on soon-to-be provided F-16 fighter jetsa move Durbin fully supports.   

“Now, contrast President Zelenksy’s statesmanship with the reprehensible conduct of Putin’s Russia, including the near total destruction of Bakhmut—a once-thriving Ukrainian city of more than 70,000 people; Russia’s ongoing, indiscriminate missile and drone attacks on civilian targets in Kyiv—including on children; Putin’s continued cowardly jailing of anyone in Russia who dares to speak against him or his illegal war, including Valdimir Kara-Murza, Alexei Navalny, and more than 500 other innocent political prisoners… The prisons in Russia are not large enough to hide the truth forever,” said Durbin. 

“So, let me reiterate here on the Senate floor for Vladimir Putin and his enablers: You have already lost the war in Ukraine.  Global opposition to your illegal war of conquest is growing.  Your legacy will be one of an indicted war criminal and a failed leader who weakened his nation, strengthened and expanded NATO, robbed countless Ukrainians of their futures, and sent thousands of Russian conscripts to their graves for your political hubris.  And despite your transparent and petty attempts to divide Americans and our allies, the world’s democracies stand united against Russian tyranny… The Soviet Union failed, and so will Vladimir Putin’s bloody and delusional attempt to resurrect it,” Durbin concluded.

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the floor is available here. 

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the floor is available here for TV Stations.