Click here or on the image above to watch Senator Capito’s floor speech.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), following her trip to Poland and Germany this past weekend, spoke on the Senate floor about the need to continue supporting the Ukrainian people, military, and government, in the face of Vladimir Putin’s war.
On Monday, Senator Capito recapped her visit to Poland and Germany during a press conference. Click here to watch Senator Capito’s remarks.
FULL FLOOR SPEECH:
“I’d like to thank my fellow senator, Senator Ernst from Iowa, for leading the delegation trip that we took this past weekend. The bipartisan delegation, it was most informative, impactful, and she did a wonderful job leading that. And I was proud of the efforts.
“I’m here to join my colleagues today to discuss the invasion – the unjust and immoral invasion – of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin in light of the trip that we just took to Germany and to Poland.
“But, in a way I am kind of hesitant to do so, not because there isn’t a lot to say or a lot to share, but because of the powerful words that some of the Ukrainians that we met implored us, which was: ‘Enough talking. It’s time to act.’
"And I could not agree more.
"But, out of deep respect for them, I’d like to take a moment to make sure we all understand why we have to act, and why we must act now.
“As Americans, and you realize this when you talk to…Germans and others, Europeans, we don’t have the same perspective sometimes that Europeans have that faced World War II.
“One of the most powerful comments conveyed when we were meeting with German officials is that the new generation who heard for decades about the atrocities from their parents and grandparents – and they were told this would never happen again – and yet what we see is that it is happening again.
“This is an unjust war, and there seems to be no level of atrocity that Vladimir Putin is unwilling to commit.
“Putin overestimated his ability, his army, his ability…this was supposed to be over in three days according to him. He overestimated his own abilities. And he grossly underestimated the will of the Ukrainian people and the will to not just live, but to live freely.
“On top of this, Putin has also failed to understand the commitment of the free world, of NATO, to stand up for freedom. And we certainly saw hat over the last several days.
“We in our nation and in our history know that freedom is worth fighting for. And it is also worth defending.
“We have generations that have done this in our past and will do this in the future, and we believe this to our core.
“But, we also believe that the deliberate and evil bombing of hospitals, targeting supply routes, and killing civilians are the actions of war criminals.
“But, in the face of all of this evil, we see hope.
“We see hope from the Ukrainian people. We see hope from the Ukrainian leadership. We see hope from the Ukrainian military.
“And we see hope in our own military forces as a part of NATO, including all nations of NATO, as well as the generosity of people around the world.
“The Non-Governmental Organizations we saw helping at the refuge center.
“And most especially the Polish people. We saw them stepping in militarily and on the humanitarian side as an incredible outpouring. We saw this firsthand at the refugee center.
“Poland has now taken in over 2 million people into their country, which is more than the entire population of my state.
“During our trip, as I said we visited the refugee center where Ukrainians are going first to be processed as they are leaving and having to flee their country.
“After this, they end up not at another refugee center but most likely in somebody’s home or a friend.
“That is the level of care and support that they are receiving.
“And that is the level of care and support they deserve as a tribute of their willingness to fight and defend their freedom.
“Many of these women and children, mostly women and children, leaving their husbands and their homes behind.
“Ukraine is united.
“And as we were told, Ukraine ‘will fight to the last man.’
“May it never come to the last man because the free world must help.
“Make no mistake: the United States of America has chosen a side. We side with freedom. We side with the people of Ukraine.
“Just a few weeks ago, Congress passed $14 billion in support for Ukraine and central European allies amid Putin’s unprovoked war.
“It’s critical to get these funds and equipment to them now because time is of the essence.
“As an example, Congress took an extra week to pass this package.
“When you are there on the ground talking to the leadership who are trying to push back on Putin, a week is a lifetime. A week is a lifetime.
“So we cannot afford to hesitate or to cause inaction.
“In our efforts to get them funds, lethal, and to impose sanctions on Russia, we must act now and keep acting.
“So, Madame President, as you know, you were on the trip as well, we met with diplomats and generals, representatives from many of our executive branch agencies, NGOs, brave soldiers, including many from our home states.
“But I will never forget the words of a woman that we met named Katarina that we met at the refugee processing center.
“She said, in desperate tones, she didn’t want to leave Ukraine. She didn’t want to leave her home. She wants to live in freedom and peace, but she has a six-year-old and eight-year-old who are constantly hearing the sirens of bomb alerts, the sounds of bombing. Just the violence. She had no choice. She has to leave to protect her children.
So, let’s do what we can, as much as we can, and as fast as we can – and that last part is critical – to return freedom to Ukraine and justice to those who do not respect the sovereignty of nations.
“This is really what we owe every child in Ukraine, in Germany, in Poland, and in the United States.
“Thank you, and I yield back.”
# # #