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Tipsheet

States and Lawmakers Take Action for Ukraine, As Zelensky Calls it a 'Pity' Biden Didn't Help Sooner

Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

It's been over a week since Vladimir Putin's Russian forces invaded Ukraine, shocking the world, as well as bringing people together to unite against Putin and condemn the invasion. We've seen calls from those standing in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, but also urging the United States to do more to stop Putin before he commits further atrocities.

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Earlier this week in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN) introduced a resolution along with Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY). It passed on Wednesday with a vote of 426-3. Spartz also spoke at a press conference on Tuesday.

"We have a president that talks about, talks about and doesn't do things. And you know, what is he going to wait for, millions have died, then he's going to do more?" Spartz continued to urge that "we have not just a moral duty," but "we are the leaders of the free world" and warned that "this is going to be the biggest genocide ever that this world has experienced."

In addition to the House and the United Nations, which passed its own resolution, states are taking action.

Republican lawmakers at the federal and state level are renewing their calls for energy independence. Such has been a concern since literally day one of the Biden administration, after the president signed an executive order canceling the Keystone Pipeline. The White House continues its talking points of dismissing those who make such calls, though. 

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Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) has also called on the Biden administration to take more concrete action since the beginning of the invasion.

In the Virginia House of Delegates, Del. Kim Taylor (R) recently spoke highlighting the story of her Ukrainian descendants. She also co-presented House Joint Resolution 71 encouraging all Virginia residents to boycott goods and services originating from Russia.

In a statement for Townhall, Del. Taylor called it "an honor to share my family history with the House of Delegates." Her mother's family and her grandmother and grandfather's families emigrated from Ukraine, settling in Sussex County, Virginia to be farmers.

"I was extremely happy to co-patron a resolution condemning the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. This resolution calls for a boycott of Russian service and products by the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia. I hope all Virginians join me in support and prayers for the brave Ukrainian people fighting for their freedom," she added.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is one who has called on the Biden administration to do more by way of sanctions, even before the invasion began. 

As I've covered for months, however, a talking point from Secretary of State Antony Blinken and others in the administration was to claim that they didn't want sanctions to lose their deterrent effect. Biden further caused confusion and seemed to go against the secretary's narrative when in his national address last week about the Russian invasion he claimed that "no one expected the sanctions to prevent anything from happening."

The Biden administration has imposed sanctions, though there appears to be a failure of taking the lead. Biden announced sanctions on Nord Stream 2 last week, shortly before Putin invaded. He did so after Germany already had.

Other sanctions have come in partnership with European allies, such as sanctioning Putin directly and other Russian officials and oligarchs. Last weekend, the White House released a statement that "selected" Russian banks were being removed from the SWIFT banking communication system. 

Speaking with Fox News' foreign correspondent Trey Yingst, who has been reporting on the ground from Kyiv, Zelensky was quite candid.

"You spoke this week with President Biden. How would you describe your conversations with the U.S. leader? Do you believe the Americans waited too long to give Ukraine the support you need to push back this Russian offensive," Yingst asked during a press conference.

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"We have good contact. I can tell you the truth," Zelensky said. "It’s a pity it began after the beginning of this war, but we have it. My appreciation to him and to his team. We can speak now often."

Zelensky was offered by the United States was a way out of the country, though he turned that down. "I need ammunition, not a ride," he said. He continues to stay behind to fight. On Friday, "Volodymyr Zelensky" has been a top trend on Twitter. He's even reportedly survived three assassination attempts in just the past week, according to The Times. This guy is certainly one to watch. Perhaps Biden can even get some tips on his leadership while he's back in Delaware

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