As President Joe Biden addressed the nation during his State of the Union speech on America’s response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, condemnations of the invasion continued to roll in this week from Bay Area and state officials.
A bill was introduced in the state Legislature on Monday to divest of Russian investments. Later that same day, the San Jose City Council announced that City Hall would be illuminated with the colors of the Ukrainian flag nightly through Sunday.
The Monterey County Board of Supervisors announced Monday night that it would consider a resolution at its meeting Tuesday condemning the Russian invasion.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo issued the following statement: “San Jose stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine as they suffer unimaginable atrocities and fight for their freedom. We pray for the strength and safety of our Ukrainian neighbors and refugees during this critical time.”
State Sen. Dave Cortese, D-San Jose, co-authored a bipartisan bill to divest state public funds from Russia and Russian-state entities.
“As a state, it is our responsibility to ensure we are not fueling this global crisis that has caused tremendous human suffering,” Cortese said. “I hope that other governments follow California’s lead in standing for peace and taking swift action against this unjustified attack on Ukraine.”
The moves join similar actions previously announced by various officials in the Bay Area.
Dmytro Kushneruk, consul general of Ukraine in San Francisco, spoke with U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla, D-California, following the attack. According to the consul general’s office, Kushneruk “called on the senator to make every possible effort to implement a system of effective countermeasures to countervail Russian aggression.”
Padilla put out his own statement, saying America will “stand with the brave people of Ukraine and continue to coordinate with our allies in imposing severe costs on (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and his cronies.”
Other Bay Area members of Congress issued similar calls for unity against Russia, with Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Dublin, calling Putin “a ruthless dictator whose actions are a threat to democracies everywhere” and Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, saying that “attacks on free and sovereign countries will be met with severe consequences.”
Biden confronted the invasion directly at the start of his State of the Union message Tuesday, citing the impact of economic sanctions against Russia.
“We are inflicting pain on Russia and supporting the people of Ukraine. Putin is now isolated from the world more than ever,” the president said in part.
“We are choking off Russia’s access to technology that will sap its economic strength and weaken its military for years to come. Tonight I say to the Russian oligarchs and corrupt leaders who have bilked billions of dollars off this violent regime, no more.”
“Putin has unleashed violence and chaos. But while he may make gains on the battlefield — he will pay a continuing high price over the long run.”