United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For Immediate Release
February 24, 2023
Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield Marking the One-Year Anniversary of Russia’s Brutal Invasion of Ukraine
One year ago today, Russia launched an illegal, unprovoked, and brutal invasion of Ukraine. In the past year, the world has seen mounting evidence of Russia’s unspeakable atrocities. Members of Russia’s forces have perpetrated war crimes and, along with other Russian officials, crimes against humanity, including the deportation of Ukrainian children to far flung locations in Russia.
I personally met with victims of those horrors when I visited Ukraine last November. I will never forget the pain in their faces and the tears in their eyes. At the same time, I met with Ukrainian children and families who had hope for the future. If they still have hope and confidence in their future, then we should too.
Putin sought to break Ukraine, but the people of Ukraine have stood strong for their freedom and their country. As President Biden said, the United States is standing with Ukraine because America stands up for freedom. America stands up for democracy. America stands up to bullies. It’s who we are as a people. And one year into this stage of the war, our commitment has not waned. The people of Ukraine have proven their skill on the battlefield and their determination to defend their country, and the United States and its allies and partners will continue to ensure that Ukraine has what it needs to defend its people and territory against Russia’s aggression – for as long as it takes.
Over the last year, the United States and our partners have taken numerous actions at the UN to hold Russia to account for its violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, of the UN Charter, and of international humanitarian law. Days after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the UN General Assembly came together, and 141 countries voted to condemn Russia’s invasion. And just yesterday, one year later, 141 countries showcased our unity and voted for a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in Ukraine, one that is in line with the UN Charter’s most fundamental principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity. The General Assembly reiterated its clear demand for Russia to withdraw immediately from Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders. The international community has been clear. And Russia remains isolated on the world stage.
Here are the facts: If Russia stops fighting and withdraws, the war ends. If Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine ends. That’s why we will continue to support Ukraine for as long as it takes.