Speaking on NBC’s “Today Show” on Wednesday morning, Ukrainian member of Parliament Oleksandra Ustinova blasted President Biden’s State of The Union speech, saying, “It was a total disappointment for us. I can explain why: Today the whole world is watching Ukrainians being executed.” She also slammed Vice President Kamala Harris, adding, “I heard the vice president’s speech right now in the morning here in the studio and she was saying you have to protect your economy and that’s why the (Russian) energy sector is not under sanctions. Well, then we have to go and tell every American that the President of the United States is protecting them from paying extra 20, 30 cents for a gallon of gas and that’s why so many Ukrainians have to die.”
Host Savannah Guthrie asked, “What do you think when you see those images from back home?”
“I start crying almost all the time,” Ustinova answered. “So I start every morning with texting my friends, my family if they’re okay, because they’re under heavy shellfire. They’re being bombed every day, heavily bombed. And frankly speaking, I was watching, I think whole Ukraine was watching Biden’s speech last night, President Biden’s speech.”
“The middle of the night, but Ukraine was watching, Ukraine was listening,” Guthrie noted. “Did you hear what you wanted and needed to hear from President Biden?”
“To be honest, it was a total disappointment for us,” Ustinova snapped. “I can explain why: Today the whole world is watching Ukrainians being executed. I cannot name it the other way around. The right definition is an execution, because we see bombs going into our civilian houses every day; we see children dying every day on the streets and in their houses if they didn’t make it to the bomb shelter. We see bombs coming to the orphanages, to the schools. And we had been promised protection by the international community; we gave up our nuclear weapons. And today when I see President Biden say that we’re going to protect every inch of the NATO territory, excuse me, we’ve been promised the same thing when we gave up our nuclear weapons. And now we’ve been given $1 billion in support?”
“The Russians have totally destroyed all the airports in Ukraine, the majority of the roads,” she continued. “We are grateful for help but we need protection in our sky. We had been protecting ourselves on the ground, but if we do not protect our sky — if there is no fly zone or if there is no dome to protect with the air defense, we will all go down, people will literally die.”
Guthrie protested, “The U.S. and NATO have been very forceful, saying there will not be NATO or U.S. troops on the ground in Ukraine.”
“I’m not asking for troops,” Ustinova said bluntly.
“They have also said they will not enforce a no-fly zone because that would put them in direct confrontation potentially to enforce it with the Russian military,” Guthrie continued. “What is your message to them?”
“I don’t have a message; I have a question,” Ustinova fired. “What is the red line that Putin has to cross for the NATO and the U.S. to step in? We’re not asking for boots on the ground; we’re asking for the Iron Dome or the no-fly zone. We need the protection of the sky so that the bombs and missiles don’t hit our children’s gardens.”
“So every time I hear of the possible provocation of Putin, Putin is a psycho,” Ustinova said. “He doesn’t need to be provoked. We did not do anything in 2014; we did not provoke him now. He still invaded. And he’s bombing the cities; he’s bombing civilians. So that’s why every time I hear that, frankly speaking, I don’t think NATO will be protecting Poland or the Baltic countries when Putin invades. He will be saying it was a provocation from these countries because we had been promised the same thing.”
“And talking about the sanctions, that is what I want to point out to Americans: I heard the vice president’s speech right now in the morning here in the studio and she was saying you have to protect your economy and that’s why the [Russian] energy sector is not under sanctions,” she remarked. “Well, then we have to go and tell every American that the president of the United States is protecting them from paying extra 20, 30 cents for a gallon of gas and that’s why so many Ukrainians have to die. We have to tell them that SWIFT was implanted for seven out of 350 banks.”
Guthrie asked if the sanctions would work to deter Putin.
“Sanctions is a long-term tool that will bring the economy down,” Ustinova asserted. “If we need it fast, we need the basic protection of the sky now. Again, if you want to sanctions, those have to be real sanctions with no exemptions Because so far, it’s seven out of 350 banks. This is not sanctions. If we are talking about the energy sector, this is what’s feeding Putin; that’s his main money.”
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