(CNSNews.com) - On Jan. 31, the Congressional Ukraine Caucus (CUC) brought wounded Ukrainian soldiers, leaders of local Ukrainian diaspora communities in the United States, and children of Ukrainian soldiers killed in action, to a press conference on Capitol Hill to make their case for the continued supply of U.S. weapons to Ukraine.
The expressed purpose of the press conference was to include “children, families, wounded Ukrainian soldiers to learn firsthand about the devastating effects of the Russian war in Ukraine.”
“We’re frequent faces in the Ukrainian community because we represent both parties and we share an undying love and respect for our friends and ally in Ukraine,” said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.), co-chairman of the CUC.
“We are going to stay for as long as it takes,” he said. “By their side, behind them. To continue to advocate that not only Congress but this administration do everything we can to make sure that Ukraine is made whole.”
“And that is to reconstitute the original Ukraine borders, to push Russia out completely, and to make sure that they pay a consequence for all of their atrocities, their genocide, and the war crimes that they’ve committed,” added Fitzpatrick.
“Nothing short of that is success,” Fitzpatrick proclaimed.
The congressman’s comments were followed by brief remarks from Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), a CUC co-chairman.
“The other day I re-watched a documentary that was made during the Second World War, ‘Why We Fight.’ And I’ve asked that question, ‘Why do we help Ukraine?’” said Quigley.
“The irony is, it’s for some of the same reasons,” the congressman continued. “Democracy must prevail over tyranny. We cannot let a sovereign, democratic country get wiped off the face of the earth by a tyrant who has eyes on many others. With the realization that there are those in the rest of the world with eyes on places like Taiwan watching what we do. So, if anything, we do this for the spirit of those who gave their last full measure of devotion in the Second World War and for those brave Ukrainians who have done the same here. We owe it to them.”
“In many respects, Ukraine has earned the right to be defended,” he added. “Their fight is the reason we formed the United Nations. Their fight is the reason we formed NATO. So for anyone to consider anything else other than fighting toward ultimate victory, recovery, restoration, and security agreements, doesn’t understand history and, unfortunately, they’re condemned to repeat it.”
The CUC was joined by Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) to emphasize the current bicameral support for Ukraine.
“I am wearing the friendship flags from the United States and Ukraine,” said Wicker. “I put this flag on my lapel February 24, 2022, and I’ve worn it every day that I’ve had a lapel on since then. I’ve worn it every day and I will wear it every day until there is victory over Putin’s illegal war and his war crimes in Ukraine.”
“The overwhelming majority of Americans support victory in Ukraine,” claimed Wicker. “We do so in a charitable way but also we do so in our own American self-interest. A peaceful Europe is vital to the economic and security interests of the United States of America.”
The lawmakers’ remarks were followed by comments from members of the Ukrainian diaspora in America, a 12-year-old Ukrainian girl whose father was killed in action, and a wounded Ukrainian soldier.
“I am one of these children who lost their fathers and I just want to say please help Ukraine,” said Sasha, whose father was killed by Russian soldiers in the war.
“Only by uniting will we defeat the common enemy. Glory to Ukraine,” said Daniel, a wounded Ukrainian soldier who received a gold medal for his service in the war.
The CUC was founded in 1997, six years after Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union, as a bipartisan caucus with the mission “to organize an association of Members of Congress who share a common concern for building stronger bilateral relations between Ukraine and the United States.”
“With the cooperation with the Ukrainian American community, the caucus serves to lend support for Ukraine, beginning with democratization efforts and market-oriented reforms, and functions as a source of information for Members of Congress regarding events in Ukraine,” reads the CUC website.
The CUC is currently co-chaired by the following four House members:
-- Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio);
-- Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.);
-- Andy Harris (R-Md.);
-- Mike Quigley (D-Ill.).