"We know Vladimir Putin is an enemy of democracy and he has revealed his purposeful pursuit of his authoritarian ambitions," Eshoo said. "I fully support the U.S. and our allies to inflict tough sanctions to make clear to Mr. Putin and autocrats throughout the world that attacks on free and sovereign countries will be met with severe consequences."
Eshoo issued the statement as Russian soldiers battled Ukrainian troops throughout Ukraine and closed on the capital city of Kyiv and as U.S. President Joe Biden unveiled a package of sanctions against Russia. These include freezing Russian assets in the United States, imposing sanctions on four major Russian banks and cutting off exports of technology to Russia. The United States also expanded the list of Russian elites and their families on the sanctions list.
Biden took additional steps this week by closing American airspace to Russian airlines and establishing a Department of Justice taskforce to go after Russian oligarchs' assets. He also said in his "State of the Union" address on Tuesday night that the United States is giving more than $1 million in direct assistance to Ukraine and will "continue to aid the Ukrainian people as they defend their country and to help ease their suffering."
State lawmakers also quickly denounce Putin's actions. Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat whose district is in the east bay, called Putin "a ruthless dictator whose actions are a threat to democracies everywhere."
Swalwell called for the U.S. military to give resources to Ukrainians to assist in their defense and for the intelligence community to provide Ukraine with actionable intelligence. He also called for the U.S. to lead a global sanctions regime that "stops the flow of Russia's money, oil and travelers."
"Most importantly, we must unite the American people at home, even as former President Trump roots for Russia. I hope every American recognizes the privilege of living in a free country. What is our democracy worth if we can't stand against the invasion of another's?"
State Senator Josh Becker, who represents the 13th District, called the Russian attack "an overreach by Putin that he will regret" and said he fully supports the sanctions announced by the U.S. and its allies. State Assembly member Kevin Mullin, a Democrat who is vying for Rep. Jackie Speier's seat in Congress, also said in a statement that Putin's aggression in Ukraine demands "severe sanctions."
"The rise of authoritarianism is a growing threat to democracy and freedom across the globe," said Mullin, whose district in San Mateo County includes Redwood City. "This latest example has no doubt been exacerbated and even encouraged by the radical behavior of other authoritarian figures both foreign and domestic.
"I have full faith in the Biden administration's ability to respond swiftly, in concert with our G7 and European Union allies, to Putin's unprovoked aggression."
Assembly member Marc Berman, who represents the 24th District in the Midpeninsula called Putin's decision to invade "an assault on freedom everywhere."
"The international response to Putin's aggression must be united, swift, and severe," Berman said in a statement.
Berman and Mullin also threw their support behind a bill that state Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire introduced on Monday to divest all California agencies, including its giant pension funds CalPERS and CalSTRS, to divest from all Russian assets. McGuire, whose district stretches north from Marin County, called the atrocities taking place in Ukraine "sickening."
"California has unique and remarkable economic power in this circumstance. As the fifth largest economy in the world, we must use this power for good. We can help stop this autocratic thug, Putin, by advancing this critical legislation and enacting our financial divestments."
This story contains 690 words.
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