The Washington Post

Sen. Menendez calls Russian action in Ukraine ‘direct invasion’

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said Sunday that the United States should provide "defensive weapons" for Ukraine, calling Russia's alleged incursion into the country a "direct invasion."

“Thousands of Russian troops are here with tanks, missiles, heavy artillery,” Menendez said from Ukraine during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union."

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J). (J. Scott Applewhite/AP).
Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J) said on CNN that "thousands of Russian troops" were in Ukraine. (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press).

Menendez added that Russian President Vladimir Putin has "sized up the West and figured that the most difficult sanctions against Russia and the weapons Ukrainians need to defend themselves is not coming from the West.”

“We have to prove him wrong,” he said.

President Obama last week refrained from using the word "invasion" to describe Russia's recent actions in Ukraine, but Menendez showed no such restraint Sunday.

“This is a direct invasion by Russia, and we must recognize it as that,” the senator said. “The European Union, NATO, as well as the United States, has to consider that this is dramatically different.”

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
The Republicans debate Saturday night. The New Hampshire primary is on Feb. 9. Get caught up on the race.
Heading into the next debate...
Donald Trump returns to the Republican presidential debate stage Saturday night. Marco Rubio arrives as a sudden star, but fending off ferocious attacks from his rivals. Still glowing from his Iowa victory, Ted Cruz is trying to consolidate conservative support, while Ben Carson is struggling to avoid being typecast as the dead man walking.
Play Video
New Hampshire polling averages
Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in the next state to vote, but Marco Rubio has recently seen a jump in his support, according to polls.
New Hampshire polling averages
A victory in New Hampshire revitalized Hillary Clinton's demoralized campaign in 2008. But this time, she's trailing Bernie Sanders, from neighboring Vermont. She's planning to head Sunday to Flint, Mich., where a cost-saving decision led to poisonous levels of lead in the water of the poor, heavily black, rust-belt city. 
56% 36%
Upcoming debates
Feb. 6: GOP debate

on ABC News, in Manchester, N.H.

Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Campaign 2016
State of the race

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.