Florida lawmakers forcefully denounce Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – World leaders have condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as “barbaric” and quickly slapped heavy sanctions on the Russian economy, President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle and many of the country’s oligarchs.

President Joe Biden says Putin “and his country will bear the consequences.”

Following the attacks, Florida and Georgia lawmakers forcefully weighed in.

Rep. Al Lawson, a Democrat who represents Jacksonville and several North Florida counties, said in a statement:

“Russia is violating the core principles that uphold global peace and security, seeking to change the borders of a sovereign country by force. It is a dismal day for the people of Ukraine, and I am praying for them.”

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His congressional colleague, Rep. Michael Waltz, is the only Green Beret in the House of Representatives and represents St. Johns County south to Volusia.

His statement is very critical of Russia and the current White House. He says in part:

The United States must publicly support Ukrainian resistance efforts should Russia succeed in its military invasion. Putin must understand the costs of invading a sovereign country and know that this will turn into a bloody quagmire – much like that of the Soviet Union’s occupation of Chechnya.”

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Florida, released a statement that says in part:

“Freedom in Europe is under attack and we must acknowledge that Putin’s goal is to seize further control of wealth and power across the continent.”

That’s a sentiment echoed by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

“Vladimir Putin is a tyrant,” McConnell said. “He is, it seems to me, indistinguishable from the leaders who used to be there during the Soviet period – and some would argue, the czars before that.”

Congressman and Democratic candidate for Florida governor, Charlie Crist, said:

“Russian President Vladimir Putin is a murderous dictator who has invaded a sovereign democracy in an effort to recreate the glory days of the USSR.”

Former President George W. Bush weighed in, calling the attack “authoritarian bullying.” Bush says in his statement that Putin’s action are the most serious security threat Europe has seen since World War II.

Bush’s father was president when the Soviet Union dissolved the day after Christmas 1991.

Other elected leaders had similar statements.

Republican Georgia Congressman Buddy Carter says:

“Before party, we are Americans, and it is our duty to ruthlessly defend freedom.”

Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Orange Park, says:

“This unprovoked, unjustified invasion of a sovereign nation is sickening. Putin and his cronies have chosen an extreme, aggressive path and will pay a significant price.”

Democratic Congresswoman Val Demings, who grew up in Jacksonville, writes:

“This warmonger and his enablers must, and will, pay the price for their crimes.”

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, was one of the first elected officials reacting last night during the beginning of the attack. Thursday evening he tweeted:

“One day the world will be awed when it hears the stories of the bravery and heroism happening at this very moment in #Ukraine”

About the Author:

Kent Justice co-anchors News4Jax's 5 p.m., 10 and 11 p.m. newscasts weeknights and reports on government and politics. He also hosts "This Week in Jacksonville," Channel 4's hot topics and politics public affairs show each Sunday morning at 9 a.m.