Showcase for Commerce 'We have to stop Vladimir Putin,' Casey says during breakfast address

Jun. 2—JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. repeatedly emphasized the need to stop Russian dictator Vladimir Putin "at all costs" when the Pennsylvania Democrat spoke remotely during the Showcase for Commerce's John P. Murtha Breakfast and a follow-up telephone interview on Friday morning.

Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 that has led to more than a year of fighting.

"I don't think I have the time today to catalog all of the atrocities and insults that Vladimir Putin has brought to this world, especially on the people of Ukraine," Casey said during his speech that was played inside downtown Johnstown's Frank J. Pasquerilla Conference Center. "He's conducted a war and invasion that is illegal, it's immoral and it's the kind of conflict that the world has rallied around the people of Ukraine.

"We have to stop Vladimir Putin, no matter what, no matter what it takes. We have to stop him. He's a threat to our freedom and obviously a direct threat to the freedom, the liberty and the lives of the people of Ukraine."

Casey, a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, credited the work done at Showcase for Commerce, an annual defense contracting exposition, for helping in the effort against Putin.

"All of the innovation, all of the new technology, all of the advancements that Showcase displays year after year after year allows us to have that edge against Vladimir Putin or any other dictator in the world who would threaten freedom and liberty in Ukraine or anywhere else in the world," Casey said.

The United States delivered more than $75 billion in assistance to Ukraine during the first year or so of the war, along with training and intelligence.

"The United States should be very proud of what our taxpayers have financed," Casey told the audience.

Later, during an interview, Casey spoke about an anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive, saying he hopes it "will be successful and maybe we can be entering a brand-new phase of the war soon."