Durbin: The Russian People Will Decide If Putin Stays Or Goes

In speech on the Senate floor, Durbin applauds Biden Administration’s decision to welcome 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, strengthen the NATO alliance

WASHINGTON  U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Co-Chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, spoke on the Senate floor on Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine. Last week, the Biden Administration announced another $1 billion in new funding towards humanitarian assistance for those affected by Putin’s war in Ukraine, along with plans to welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians and others fleeing Russia’s aggression through a full range of legal immigration pathways, including the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.


Durbin said, “The violence Vladimir Putin is willing to wage is horrifyingly obvious to the entire world…their brutal assault on Ukraine is now in its second month.”


Over the weekend, Durbin attended a rally in Chicago, where people of all backgrounds came to show their support for Ukraine.


Durbin continued, “When the President said he wanted to accept 100,000 refugees from Ukraine, I applauded it, as did others. A nation of five million, known as Ireland, has also agreed to accept 100,000 refugees...We can do more and we shouldn't limit it just to refugees from Ukraine. There are refugees from wars and calamities around the world who also need an opportunity to be in a safe place.”


Durbin concluded, “[The contest between dictatorships and] democracy did not end with the defeat of Nazism, or the fall of the Berlin Wall.  It continues in this century…The duty of democracy is to make sure that the people have the final word to their own destiny within their own borders. President Biden is leading a historic effort [within] the NATO alliance on behalf of the people of Ukraine.”


More than 3.8 million Ukrainians have fled their country since February 24. The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution cosponsored by Durbin condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin as a war criminal. The Senate also passed the Fiscal Year 2022 Omnibus appropriations bill. The $1.5 trillion package provides $13.6 billion in humanitarian, military, and economic support for Ukraine. Within that amount, $6 billion is provided in State and USAID humanitarian assistance; $100 million in US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food for Peace aid for Ukraine; $6.5 billion in Defense spending; and $19 million for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to support targeted sanctions measures.


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


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


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