Sunday 27 February 2022

Sen. Marco Rubio: Ukraine Invasion Should ‘Remind Us How Precious Freedom Is’

 Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine should remind Americans “how valuable freedom and liberty are” and commended Ukrainians for “taking up arms.”

“Now the one thing I think everyone can agree upon is that the people of Ukraine are inspiring to the world,” Rubio said during a speech on Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida. “I don’t know if you’ve watched the images in the last 48 hours — you have 70-something-year-old men, elderly women, younger children taking up arms, prepared to sacrifice everything.”

The senator specifically referenced the 13 Ukrainian soldiers who were allegedly killed while defending the strategically important Snake Island from a Russian warship. (Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service has not confirmed their deaths and said they could have been taken as prisoners.) 

Ukrainian and other international outlets spread unverified audio, first published by Ukrainian newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda and allegedly verified by Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko, that appears to capture the last moments of the Snake Island troops.

“I am a Russian warship. I offer to lay down our arms and surrender to avoid bloodshed and unjustified casualties. Otherwise, you will be bombed,” the Russian warship reportedly said twice in the audio.

The radio operator then allegedly replied: “Russian warship, go f*ck yourself!”

Rubio said watching the Ukraine invasion unfold should remind Americans of the value of freedom.

“These are people that are basically saying ‘we refuse to be Putin’s slaves, we refuse to live under tyranny — we’re prepared to give our life and die for it,'” he said. “What it reminds us of — it should remind us — of two things: how precious freedom and liberty [are], and how quickly it can be lost.”

He noted that the reason America has freedom is because people “at one point were willing to do that for our country here.”

“They were willing to die and they were willing to sacrifice,” he said. “Freedom and liberty are being threatened again, but no one here is being asked to die. No one here is being asked to take up arms to defend it. We’re being asked to win elections, to speak out, to be courageous, to raise our voices, to call it out for what it is.”

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