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Mar 01, 2022

Council passed a resolution Monday (2/28) condemning in the strongest terms the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The resolution also denounces Vladimir Putin’s years-long aggression against this sovereign country.

As the world watches the invasion and bombing of Ukraine in real-time, the people of Cleveland, the region and the entire nation are rallying around the strong steps the U.S. has taken against Russia. They also are rallying around the work the U.S. has done with the European Union which has strengthened their resolve and their actions against this invasion.

After months of troop and tank buildups, Russia began shelling and rocket attacks on Feb. 24th. The resolution states that Ukraine has been in conflict with Russia since 2014, with Putin refusing to acknowledge it as a sovereign nation.

The Ukrainian people rose up – the 2014 Ukrainian revolution. The result was the removal of the pro-Russian Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. However, Russia then seized Crimea and established control over breakaway regions of southeastern Ukraine in the chaos that followed Yanukovych’s resignation and flight to Moscow.

The resolution calls for continued strong sanctions against Russia by the U.S. and its partners. The U.S. has added new sanctions today, including one that is aimed at stopping Putin from accessing his $600 billion financial reserve. Even neutral Sweden and Finland are providing arms to Ukraine, and Switzerland has announced it will freeze Russian assets.  The financial sanctions are expected to cause Moscow to suffer economically.

Councilman Mike Polensek, who spurred the resolution that was ultimately sponsored by all of council, called Vladimir Putin a thug and said everyone must condemn this action.

Prior to the Russian attack President Biden had authorized $1 billion in military assistance to Ukraine and has added nearly $350 million in weapons such as antitank and antiaircraft missiles and $200 million in drawdowns from U.S. arms stocks. Until the invasion began, the U.S. has been landing cargo planes with military equipment and ammunition to the Kyiv airport.

The resolution, when passed, will be sent to President Biden and all members of the U.S. Congress. Ukraine’s plight hits close to home. Ohio and the Cleveland region are home to many Ukrainian Americans. An estimated 42,908 Ukrainians call Ohio home, with more than a third of them living in Northeast Ohio, according to the Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey.

The estimated 4,127 Parma residents of Ukrainian descent account for about 5% of the city’s population. The next largest populations of Ukrainians among Ohio cities are in Cleveland (1,981), Columbus (1,953), North Royalton (1,559), and Strongsville (1,099). (Res. 235-2022)