WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement on the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“One year ago today, the world watched in shock as Russia invaded Ukraine. Predictions at the time were bleak, with many saying Ukraine would last only days following Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion.

“A year later, Ukraine stands. It has retaken much of its territory, including Kherson and Kharkiv. And, in its bravery and fight for democracy and self-governance, has inspired and united a worldwide coalition in its support. That in itself is a victory, though an incomplete one.

“A key component of Ukraine’s victory thus far has been the Biden-Harris Administration’s unwavering support of Ukraine. The strategy is simple: Provide Ukraine with the tools to take back its territory and ensure the United States and NATO do not fall into direct confrontation with Russia.

“The road ahead will not be easy, but the grit and determination of the Ukrainian people are its great national reserve. Ukrainians will continue to fight for their country and for free democracies like ours. 

“The next eight months will be crucial. We must continue to provide all the military equipment and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine that we can. Peace is possible, but only if President Putin is stopped and understands that Ukraine cannot be taken. The clearest path to peace is for Ukraine to continue to take back its territory from Russian invaders. 

“As Ukraine liberates itself, we must be ready to support a negotiated and just peace knowing that Putin cannot be trusted or taken lightly. I hope and expect that the administration, Congress, American people, and our partners and allies will continue to work together in that critically important effort.”