Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Mike Turner, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, requested senior members of the House Armed Services Committee call on the President of the United States to immediately release information on the movement of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border.
In light of the urgency of this situation, Congressman Turner has also sent a letter directly to Secretary Hagel, requesting direct and immediate action from the Department of Defense.
"Currently, the Administration is in possession of information critical for the United States and its allies to adequately combat Russian aggression; however, President Obama and Secretary Hagel have dangerously chosen to withhold this information from the people of the United States, the Ukrainian government, and the rest of the international community,” said Turner.
“Putin has proven he will continue to pursue a hostile world view. We cannot keep game changing information under wraps at the expense of our vulnerable allies. We must cooperate with the Ukrainian government so they understand the severity of what they’re facing and can make informed decisions based on full awareness of Russia’s recent activity along their border. It is imperative that the United States provide this information to the government of Ukraine and the public immediately."
The full text of the letter is below.
Read a signed copy attached and here.
March 26, 2014
Dear Secretary Hagel,
I strongly request that the Department of Defense (DOD) do its part to comply with today’s call for immediate action on the situation in Ukraine sent by senior Members of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) to the President. In particular, the Department should immediately provide Congress and make public known Russian military activity along the Ukrainian border.
Despite recent comments made by Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, it is my belief that Russian forces may intend to advance further into Ukraine. I am concerned that if this information is not presented to Congress or shared with the larger international community to include countries such as Ukraine, there will be little or no opportunity to deter or prepare for further Russian advances. Unlike the initial advance into Crimea in which the current Administration gravely misread the intentions of President Putin, we may still possess an opportunity to act in order to prevent further aggression from Russia.
An immediate briefing to Members of Congress and the public release of certain information pertaining to the Russian military’s current force posture is needed to shed light on recent developments along the border. Any delay in this matter will only increase the likelihood of more violence as it allows Russian military forces to move freely and position themselves for additional advances.
While not a member of NATO, Ukraine was a key component of the Bucharest Summit and was slated to eventually join the Alliance. As such, we must recognize Ukraine as a key ally to the United States. We call on the Department to immediately provide the United States Congress and Ukraine a detailed assessment on recent Russian actions.
Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter and we look forward to working with you.