Al Día: In PA, the state with the highest Ukrainian-American population by percent, local politicians respond to Russia-Ukraine conflict

By the morning of Thursday, Feb. 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin had declared war on Ukraine, launching a full-scale invasion with land, air, and sea forces.

A Russia-Ukraine conflict has been ongoing for eight years with escalations in 2021 leading into the recent invasion.

Pennsylvania is the state in the U.S. with the highest Ukrainian-American population by percent, and the second highest by individual population after New York.

In the U.S. state, politicians have been sharing their responses. Since many of these responses have been posted, U.S. President Joe Biden has announced incoming sanctions on Russia.


This morning, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf shared President Biden’s condemning of Russia’s attack, calling the invasion unjustified.

Despite the growing conflicts of the past, Wolf found the attack “shocking,” since Ukraine had not provoked the attack and is considered a peaceful country.

Wolf ended his response by urging democratic leaders to unite in condemning Russia. He also reached out to Ukrainian-Americans and others in PA who may have family and loved ones in the country.


U.S. Senator Bob Casey shared a typed statement on Putin’s invasion of Russia.

Casey called the invasion “an aggressive escalation” intended to derail a sense of international order and undermine in-place democrats systems.

The senator did not ignore former U.S. President Trump’s approval of Putin’s plans, days before the invasion would take complete hold over the region.

Casey approved of Biden and other world leaders’ condemning and sanctioning of Russia, and highlighted the importance of uniting allies now and in the future.


U.S. Senator Pat Toomey echoed sentiments of prayer for the Ukrainian citizens.

Toomey emphasized the likelihood for high casualties counts in the conflict, many who will be innocent civilians. He also mentioned global security concerns.

Senator Toomey shared the call for Biden to impose immediate and impactful sanctions on Russia, and shared a hope for Congress to pass the NYET Act to harm Russia’s financial sector.


State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta is a democratic candidate for the U.S. senate. Last night, the North Philly-based democrat shared his thoughts on Putin’s decision.

Kenyatta called Putin’s decision to invade a “path of death and destruction,” and stood with the citizens of Ukraine.

Referencing the violence which will insure — impending financial insecurity resulting from sanctions on Russian — Kenyatta called Putin’s decision one certain to “not advance the lives of the Russian people and bring needless pain and suffering.”


Democrat Brendan Boyle, representative of PA’s 2nd congressional district, disagreed with the motives behind Putin’s attack.

Boyle called Putin evil, and said he “yearns for the old days of the Soviet Empire.” Boyle’s comment points out Putin’s motive opposed to the Russian president’s cited intention.

The representative echoed sentiments to stand with Ukraine, resist Putin, and ensure his failure in the invasion going forward.


Congressman Dwight Evans, the representative for PA’s 3rd congressional district, called for accountability not just for Putin, but also those who have enabled him and his agenda.

In his support of President Biden, Evans said Russia should pay a “major price” and called for Biden and allies to carry out a taxing punishment.

Congressman Evans concluded his Tweet by acknowledging his support of Ukrainian citizens, and concern over how the conflict will affect them.


Representative of the PA’s 4th congressional district, Madeleine Dean, called Putin a dictator in a Tweet last night.

The representative shared sentiments of “prayer” for Ukraine during the unprovoked attack.

Dean believes Putin must be held accountable for his attack, for intentionally devastating Ukraine, and bringing violence to Europe and potentially the world.


Representative of PA’s 6th congressional district, Rep. Chrissy Houlahan called today a sad day for both democracy and humanity.

Like many others, Rep. Houlahan called the invasion unprovoked, but also acknowledged past conflict by calling the invasion premeditated.


Brian Fitzpatrick is the representative for PA’s 1st congressional district. The representative offered an extended response to the unfolding conflict, linking a press release.

Fitzpatrick called the invasion a rejection of diplomacy, and Putin’s decision a “brutal, senseless” path to war with a “friend and ally.”

The representative also echoed calls for sanctions against Putin and Russia, and suggested actions should be taken to increase Ukraine’s military force.