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Tom Wolf, Bob Casey, Pat Toomey, Malcolm Kenyatta
Governor Tom Wolf, Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey, and State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta are just four PA politicians who have spoken out against Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Photos: Getty Images.

In PA, the state with the highest Ukrainian-American population by percent, local politicians respond to Russia-Ukraine conflict

Pennsylvania politicians respond after Vladimir Putin invades Ukraine.

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By the morning of Thursday, Feb. 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin had declared war on Ukraine, launching a full-scale invasion with land, air, and sea forces. 

A Russia-Ukraine conflict has been ongoing for eight years with escalations in 2021 leading into the recent invasion.

Pennsylvania is the state in the U.S. with the highest Ukrainian-American population by percent, and the second highest by individual population after New York.

In the U.S. state, politicians have been sharing their responses. Since many of these responses have been posted, U.S. President Joe Biden has announced incoming sanctions on Russia.

Governor Tom Wolf

This morning, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf shared President Biden’s condemning of Russia’s attack, calling the invasion unjustified.

Despite the growing conflicts of the past, Wolf found the attack “shocking,” since Ukraine had not provoked the attack and is considered a peaceful country.

Wolf ended his response by urging democratic leaders to unite in condemning Russia. He also reached out to Ukrainian-Americans and others in PA who may have family and loved ones in the country.


U.S. Senator Bob Casey

U.S. Senator Bob Casey shared a typed statement on Putin’s invasion of Russia. 

Casey called the invasion “an aggressive escalation” intended to derail a sense of international order and undermine in-place democrats systems.

The senator did not ignore former U.S. President Trump’s approval of Putin’s plans, days before the invasion would take complete hold over the region.

Casey approved of Biden and other world leaders’ condemning and sanctioning of Russia, and highlighted the importance of uniting allies now and in the future.

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey echoed sentiments of prayer for the Ukrainian citizens. 

Toomey emphasized the likelihood for high casualties counts in the conflict, many who will be innocent civilians. He also mentioned global security concerns.

Senator Toomey shared the call for Biden to impose immediate and impactful sanctions on Russia, and shared a hope for Congress to pass the NYET Act to harm Russia’s financial sector.

PA Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta

State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta is a democratic candidate for the U.S. senate. Last night, the North Philly-based democrat shared his thoughts on Putin’s decision.

Kenyatta called Putin’s decision to invade a “path of death and destruction,” and stood with the citizens of Ukraine.

Referencing the violence which will insure — impending financial insecurity resulting from sanctions on Russian — Kenyatta called Putin’s decision one certain to “not advance the lives of the Russian people and bring needless pain and suffering.” 

U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle

Democrat Brendan Boyle, representative of PA’s 2nd congressional district, disagreed with the motives behind Putin’s attack.

Boyle called Putin evil, and said he “yearns for the old days of the Soviet Empire.” Boyle’s comment points out Putin’s motive opposed to the Russian president’s cited intention.

The representative echoed sentiments to stand with Ukraine, resist Putin, and ensure his failure in the invasion going forward. 

U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans

Congressman Dwight Evans, the representative for PA’s 3rd congressional district, called for accountability not just for Putin, but also those who have enabled him and his agenda.

In his support of President Biden, Evans said Russia should pay a “major price” and called for Biden and allies to carry out a taxing punishment.

Congressman Evans concluded his Tweet by acknowledging his support of Ukrainian citizens, and concern over how the conflict will affect them.

U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean

Representative of the PA’s 4th congressional district, Madeleine Dean, called Putin a dictator in a Tweet last night.

The representative shared sentiments of “prayer” for Ukraine during the unprovoked attack.

Dean believes Putin must be held accountable for his attack, for intentionally devastating Ukraine, and bringing violence to Europe and potentially the world.

U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan

Representative of PA’s 6th congressional district, Rep. Chrissy Houlahan called today a sad day for both democracy and humanity.

Like many others, Rep. Houlahan called the invasion unprovoked, but also acknowledged past conflict by calling the invasion premeditated.

U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick

Brian Fitzpatrick is the representative for PA’s 1st congressional district. The representative offered an extended response to the unfolding conflict, linking a press release.

Fitzpatrick called the invasion a rejection of diplomacy, and Putin’s decision a “brutal, senseless” path to war with a “friend and ally.”

The representative also echoed calls for sanctions against Putin and Russia, and suggested actions should be taken to increase Ukraine’s military force.

PA Rep. Danilo Burgos

Burgos is a Philadelphia representative in Harrisburg from District 197, comprising parts of North Philadelphia including Kensington, Hunting Park, Feltonville and more. 

He released his response on to the war on Ash Wednesday (March 2), calling out Putin's behavior "cold-hearted" and "self-indulgent," and also calling attention to the fragility of the institutions we hold dear in free society.

"Perhaps we can learn from these present circumstances just how fragile and precious our democracies are and the high value we place upon them. It was the deepest desire of Jesus’ life ‘that all may be one.’ In this hour of darkness, let us renew our commitment to those principles and values that are the foundation of unity," Burgos said in a release.

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