See below for video and a transcript of remarks by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA11), NATO Parliamentary Assembly president, earlier today:
“Colleagues and friends: It’s eight months that we are now into a war with Vladimir Putin bathed in blood. Not in 80 years has this continent seen the level of depravity and brutality inflicted upon towns and villages and cities, of innocent people, who are in the view of the delusional pan-Russian leader in the Kremlin guilty of one sin – they seek to be a free people. That cannot be a sin anywhere.
Some timid souls would have you believe that yes, the bloodshed and the violence is unsavory, but we’re going to have to come to terms with Vladimir Putin. Tell that to the dead in Bucha. Tell that to the sheltered victims in Mariupol. Tell that to those who’ve lost their lives at Zaporizhzhia.
Every generation is forced to deal with moments of truth. Not all generations have succeeded in meeting that moment of truth. We have ample examples here in Europe of those failures in the past. But this generation cannot fail to meet its moment in history. The stakes are much greater than the geography of a particular place. The stakes are truly about the future of liberal democratic values, ways of life that infuse the human spirit with freedom, versus the alternative – the absolute suppression of those freedoms.
Which way of life do we wish to choose? We must stand with Ukraine in promoting those democratic values, in asserting the right to those freedoms, in asserting self-determination. When we all face our grandchildren in the next generation and they ask, where were you on the issue of Crimea, where were you when Russia decided on its cataclysmic and reckless brutal campaign to suppress freedom in Europe and indeed around the world? Let us make sure all of us can say to our grandchildren, I stood with Ukraine. Thank you. Slava Ukraine.”