On-the-Record Press Gaggle by White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby

MODERATOR: Hello, everyone. Thanks so much for joining today’s on-the-record news of day gaggle with White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby. This call is on the record, and there’s no embargo.

I’ll turn it over to Kirby now to kick us off, and then we’ll take your questions.

MR. KIRBY: Thanks, Eduardo. Thanks, everybody.

As you all know, tomorrow is the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. And as you all heard, the President marked that anniversary in a statement, and in remarks just now, as we mourn the many Ukrainian lives who have been lost in this terrible conflict and to express our resolve to continue to support the people of Ukraine as they defend themselves against this vicious and brutal war Russia started in Ukraine.

As the President said, Vladimir Putin launched the invasion. He thought he could easily bend the will and break the resolve of a free people and that he could just roll right into a sovereign nation and the world would roll right on over.

But two years later, it’s clear that Mr. Putin was absolutely wrong. The Ukrainian people, with support from the United States and more than 50 other countries around the world as part of a global coalition that we actually built, have resisted Putin’s invasion. They won the battles for Kyiv, for Kharkiv, for Kherson. They retook more than 50 percent of the sovereign territory that Russia seized from them in 2022. And they are continuing to fight bravely right on the battlefield there, from east to the south.

But they are being forced to ration ammunition and equipment because Congress has failed to act and provide them with resources that they need to continue this fight.

The President has talked about what’s at stake. The American people and people around the world understand also what’s at stake. We need the House of Representatives to act. The President’s commitment to supporting Ukraine and holding Russia accountable is absolutely clear.

And at his direction, also today, the United States announced a significant set of new actions to hold Russia accountable for the death of Aleksey Navalny and to mark the two-year anniversary tomorrow of Russia’s unprovoked and unlawful invasion of Ukraine.

We sanctioned over 500 targets to impose additional costs for Russia’s repression, for their human rights abuses, and, of course, for their aggression inside Ukraine. These include a major cog in Russia’s financial infrastructure; more than two dozen third-country sanctions evaders in Europe, East Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East; and hundreds of entities in Russia’s military industrial base and other key sectors to cut off funding for Putin’s war machine.

The Department of State, I think as you all know, is also designating three Russian individuals who are connected to Navalny’s imprisonment and the Russian government’s harsh treatment of him.






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