Ukrainian Americans living in Connecticut are anxiously watching after the Russian military invaded Ukraine early Thursday, while the Connecticut congressional delegation came out hard denouncing the invasion.
Myron Melnyk, who lives in New Haven, said he spoke to his cousin in Ukraine Thursday morning. Melnyk said his cousin lives in a rural area in the west of the country, so he’s not too concerned for him right now, but the future does not feel so hopeful.
Melnyk said he and his cousin believe Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to take control of Ukraine. “His feeling is the same as mine — Putin will not stop until he topples this government, until he puts in his own puppet government,” Melnyk said. “That one person should look to overcome the will of a nation that voted overwhelmingly for independence.”
Freida Hecht, Director of Education & Outreach at Beth Israel of Westport/Norwalk, also has an eyewitness report from cousins, who she said are in Ukraine as missionaries.
“Early this morning they heard noise of explosions in their city,” Hecht wrote on Facebook. “Schools are closed and only food and medical supply stores are open.”
Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling indicated he’s thinking of Ukrainian Norwalkers and the state of the world.
“Russia’s attack on the Ukraine is a despicable act of war and is totally unprovoked,” Rilling said. “Despite promises by Putin and the Russian Ambassador to the U.S., that there were no plans to attack, they did just that. The NATO allies must implement immediate and severe sanctions that will affect the Russian economy to send a strong statement we are aligned with the Ukrainian people. My office stands ready to communicate with our Federal Delegates to provide support to our Ukrainian community in gathering updates on relatives in the war zone.”
CT delegation decries invasion
U.S. Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal expressed support for Ukrainians while condemning Putin.
“Putin’s decision to invade is an evil, panicked move of weakness and will be his defining mistake. The Ukrainian people will fight for as long as it takes to secure their nation from this foreign tyrant, and the United States will stand with them,” Murphy said in a tweet late Wednesday.
1/ Putin’s decision to invade is an evil, panicked move of weakness and will be his defining mistake. The Ukrainian people will fight for as long as it takes to secure their nation from this foreign tyrant, and the United States will stand with them in this fight.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) February 24, 2022
Murphy is on the Foreign Relations Committee.
Blumenthal called for further sanctions against Russia and expressed U.S. support for those living in the Ukraine.
“Costs & consequences must be swift, severe, & strong meeting Putin’s attack on the post-WWII world order. It is far past time to fully sanction Russia, Putin, & his oligarchs,” Blumenthal tweeted Thursday morning.
My thoughts are with the people of Ukraine as Putin launches this premeditated, unprovoked attack. The USA stands with the Ukrainian people as they fight for their freedom from Russian tyranny.
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) February 24, 2022
Connecticut’s delegation in the U.S. House had a similar reaction.