Sunday Jul 03, 2022

I’ve seen Ukrainian suffering up close and we must continue to send critical lethal and nonlethal aid

I've seen Ukrainian suffering up close and we must continue to send critical lethal and nonlethal aid


NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

On a deceptively serene and sunny day at the Romanian border with Ukraine, near the town of Serit, I saw firsthand the pain and torment inflicted upon a sovereign nation by a tyrannical autocrat. 

As I walked through the checkpoints and met with Ukrainian refugees fleeing to the safety of our European allies, I could not help but think back to memories of growing up during the height of the Cold War – a formative time for me. 

What we saw then was an economic and political system that was so weak, they relied on the barrel of a gun and barbed wire to subjugate rather than govern. It became abundantly clear to me that a “superpower” that must erect walls to keep their people from fleeing is neither super, nor does it possess any real power. 

BLINKEN PLEDGES RUSSIAN ACCOUNTABILITY ‘ONE DAY, ONE WAY,’ UKRAINE PLEADS FOR FASTER NATO AID

I never thought that decades later I would be face to face with Ukrainian refugees fleeing from the violence and bloodshed being led by a man born from the ash heap of the Cold War. Vladimir Putin’s demented fantasies and lust for conquest are responsible for thousands of innocent deaths and the displacement of over 10 million Ukrainians. 

FILE – An injured woman reacts after shelling in a residential area in Kyiv on March 18, 2022, as Russian troops try to encircle the Ukrainian capital as part of their slow-moving offensive. - Authorities in Kyiv said one person was killed early today when a downed Russian rocket struck a residential building in the capital's northern suburbs. They said a school and playground were also hit. 

FILE – An injured woman reacts after shelling in a residential area in Kyiv on March 18, 2022, as Russian troops try to encircle the Ukrainian capital as part of their slow-moving offensive. – Authorities in Kyiv said one person was killed early today when a downed Russian rocket struck a residential building in the capital’s northern suburbs. They said a school and playground were also hit. 
(Photo by ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images)

It has been said that the greatest natural resource any country possesses is its people. That rings true for the nations we visited. Roughly two million refugees have fled to Poland and another five hundred thousand to Romania. And in both countries, we did not see a single major refugee camp. 

Why? Because the people of Poland and Romania have opened their doors to host, feed, and care for Ukrainian refugees – perfect strangers acting perfectly. 

US, POLAND TO HOLD JOINT MILITARY EXERCISES NEAR UKRAINE BORDER

This conflict is not a collection of pixels on a television screen. These are real people, with real families, and there are real, lasting consequences. 

When we met with Romania’s Minister of Internal Affairs, we heard the story of his nine-year-old daughter learning why her friends are safe and why Ukrainian children are not.

 In one night, a young child had to learn about the intricacies of NATO and what Article 5 means to our allies. After this story via his interpreter, he looked each of us in the eye and in English said, “thank you.” 

Through this conversation and countless others, one thing has never wavered – the fighting spirit and resiliency of the Ukrainian people. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE OPINION NEWSLETTER

Their fortitude reaffirmed what I have been saying for months. It is crucial that the United States continues providing Ukraine with robust lethal and nonlethal aid. Specifically, Ukraine needs to deny Russian air superiority. To paraphrase Sir Winston Churchill’s speech at MIT in 1949, “Air superiority is the ultimate expression of military power.” 

It is vital that this administration expedites programs meant to deliver air and missile defense. We must also provide armor, long-range artillery, and other asymmetrical aid such as sniper rifles, plastic explosives, and anti-tank mines. In addition, the deployment of loitering munitions such as the Switchblade 300 and 600 deep into enemy territory is crucial. These high-tech drones are cost-effective tools to combat Russian amour and artillery. 

This administration’s inability to prevent escalation is in and of itself escalatory. Vladimir Putin is deterring this administration, and the consequences lead to the pain and suffering that we saw up close and personal – the same suffering the world is witnessing in Bucha, Ukraine. War and conflict are invited by weakness. American hard power is what will give Ukrainians the tools to defend its freedom from the tyranny of Vladimir Putin. 

Nowadays, it is easy to take for granted the rights and liberties that we enjoy living in the United States, freedoms that many around the world yearn for.

As the Great Communicator, President Ronald Reagan, once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same…” And to add to the Gipper’s sage words…freedom is always one tyrant away from extinction.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

We as Americans must do everything in our power to support the Ukrainian people in their struggle for freedom. For they are not only fighting for their liberty, but for the very survival of their country. 

If the United States demonstrates committed leadership, when this war has ended and an independent Ukraine survives, Americans will rejoice and not suffer from regret.              

sanjay

Back to Top