Tom Kean Jr.: It's essential we continue to support Ukraine. Here's why | Opinion

Thirteen months ago, Russia invaded the sovereign country of Ukraine in a flagrant and unprovoked act of war. Many thought that Russian forces would occupy the country in a matter of weeks; yet, Ukraine managed to survive. Over the next several months, Ukrainian forces, with the support of partner nations from across the world, including the United States, repeatedly defeated Russian forces on the battlefield and pushed them back in northern, eastern and southern Ukraine. These inspiring victories have come at a heavy cost as thousands of Ukrainians soldiers have given their lives defending their democracy, sovereignty and freedom. Countless more Ukrainian civilians have also been killed, wounded, raped and tortured by Russian forces over the course of this war. But, Ukraine fights on. The Ukrainian people have proven their unbreakable spirit and fierce perseverance in defense of their nation.

This month, I led a bipartisan group of my colleagues in introducing a resolution in the House of Representatives recognizing the sovereignty of Ukraine and the unbreakable spirit of the Ukrainian people. Our resolution also reaffirms America’s firm support for continued U.S. assistance to Ukraine and calls attention to Europe’s increased support, a trend that must continue.

We introduced this resolution to show the world that the American people and the United States Congress continue to stand in strong support of the people of Ukraine as they defend themselves from Putin’s brutal and unprovoked invasion. It is important that the Ukrainian people know that they are not in this fight alone and that the freedom-loving countries of the world will not allow Putin to succeed. As the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Europe of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I am committed to our country’s continued support to Ukraine, making it clear to our allies and adversaries alike that the United States will stand against unprovoked wars of aggression by authoritarian powers.

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Ukrainian military fires from a multiple rocket launcher at Russian positions in the Kharkiv area, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023. The Biden administration declared its Ukraine solidarity with fresh action as well as strong words on Friday, piling sweeping new sanctions on Moscow and approving a new $2 billion weapons package to re-arm Kyiv a year after Russia's invasion.

As we continue to work together to provide support for Ukraine, constant transparency and accountability is crucial.  Congress has appropriated more than $113 billion to respond to Russia’s war in Ukraine to date, and the American people deserve to know how this substantial sum of taxpayer dollars is being spent. Congress’s oversight efforts, done with intense diligence and in good faith, will incentivize the Administration and our Ukrainian partners to use these funds with the highest degree of efficiency and effectiveness. By showing the American people how this funding is being appropriately spent, we can ensure enduring support for further assistance to enable Ukraine to win this war.

Since World War II, the United States and our allies have stood against attempts by our enemies and adversaries to redefine borders by force of arms. The horrific conflicts of the first half of the 20th century taught us that would-be conquerors must not be appeased and must be stopped early. This chapter in human history is no different. Our goal of victory for Ukraine means driving Putin’s forces out of Ukraine, ensuring Ukraine is strong enough to deter future Russian aggression and inflicting a decisive defeat on Russia so that it cannot threaten its neighbors with armed force in the near future. We do all of this with the goal of establishing an enduring and just peace in Ukraine, in Europe and around the world.

This war represents the fight against an evil that still exists in our world today. The civilized world is drawing the line to say that in the 21st century, countries do not redraw international borders by military invasion or that humane societies do not select schools, hospitals, and playgrounds as targets of war or kidnap tens of thousands of children.

This war was never predicted to be easy for Ukraine. Since the first day of this war, Ukraine has faced off against a much larger opponent. And yet, it is the resolve of the Ukrainian people and the support of Ukraine’s allies, led by the United States, that has sustained thirteen months of successful resistance. Ukrainian soldiers have shown us time and time again that, when they are given the weapons they need, they can win. When Russia’s invasion began, many said that Kyiv would fall within weeks, maybe even days. Today, Kyiv stands strong, and America will continue to stand with the brave men and women on the frontlines as their fight for freedom continues.

Rep. Tom Kean Jr., a Republican, represents New Jersey's 7th Congressional District.

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: U.S. support for Ukraine must not waiver: Tom Kean Jr.