Congressmen and senators made tough statements.

Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Menendez said that “Vladimir Putin’s illegal recognition of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics is an act of unprovoked aggression and a gross violation of international law.”

“Despite repeated efforts to open the door to diplomacy, Vladimir Putin chose the path of conflict. Using Ukraine as a battlefield for the Kremlin’s influence only deepens our determination to support the Ukrainian people so that they can finally live in peace, determine their own future and live in freedom,” the Democratic senator said.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, in turn, said:

“When it comes to thugs like Putin, who are destroying the world order and destroying democracies, there is a limit to everything. Putin’s decision to declare Donetsk and Luhansk independent regions within Ukraine is both a violation of the Minsk Agreements and a declaration of war on the people of Ukraine. His decision should be immediately met with tough sanctions in order to bring down the ruble and crush the Russian oil and gas sector.”

“Putin’s recent reckless steps to recognize [the so–called people’s republics] exacerbate the need for economic sanctions now – fast, confident, severe – forcing him [Putin] to pay the price for this cowardly attack on the world order… We must demonstrate our determination to support Ukraine,” Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal is convinced.

Democratic Congressman Bill Keating said that the Russian leader’s decision “violates international law, the Minsk agreements and, most importantly, the territorial sovereignty of Ukraine.”

“Vladimir Putin, you have chosen the wrong and stupid path. Because of this decision, your people will suffer, your economy will experience further decline, and your regime will be further isolated from the international community. The rest of the world sees you for who you really are: the autocratic leader of a rogue state who is threatened by the prospect of a free and independent Ukraine,” the congressman said.

Democratic Congressman Mike Quigley said that “any deployment of Russian troops in these regions (the occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions) is a violation of territorial sovereignty, which we have not seen since the Second World War.”

Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger said that “the United States should make sure that Putin, violating international agreements, will face punitive, not symbolic sanctions.”