U.S. Sen. Susan Collins called it a “badge of honor” after the Russian government sanctioned her on Tuesday.
The Maine Republican was among 25 U.S. citizens, including six senators, first lady Jill Biden and President Joe Biden’s daughter Ashley Blazer Biden, the Russian Foreign Ministry sanctioned. That’s atop 400 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including Democrats Chellie Pingree of the 1st District and Jared Golden of the 2nd District, who were targeted by sanctions in April.
That comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine stretches into its fourth month. The war has shifted to separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, where the Russian military reportedly controls about 95 percent of Luhansk province and about half of neighboring Donetsk province, the two provinces that make up the Donbas, the Associated Press reported late last week.
“I am proud to stand with the people of Ukraine, who are inspiring the world by their courage in the face of Putin’s unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression,” Collins said.
Collins, who met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv in May, has been a fierce critic of Putin’s months-old war, denouncing him as a “war criminal.” She has supported U.S. aid to the eastern European nation and earlier this month urged the Biden administration to ratchet up even further sanctions against Russia.
“The Russian military has bombed maternity hospitals, apartment buildings, schools, shelters, and humanitarian corridors in Ukraine. I consider my being sanctioned by Putin’s murderous regime to be a badge of honor,” Collins said Tuesday.
On Monday, Russian missiles hit targets deep in Ukraine, including a crowded Kyiv shopping center where more than a dozen were confirmed killed, according to the Associated Press. In response to the continued aggression, the Group of Seven nations on Tuesday agreed to ban the import of Russian gold as part of another round of sanctions.
“I will continue to support doing everything in the United States’ power to give the Ukrainians the tools they need to defend their sovereignty and pressure Russia to bring an end to its terrible war,” Collins said.