Mr. Speaker, for the last 8 years, the world turned its cheek while Vladimir Putin—the Napoleon of Siberia—stomped on human rights and broke international law.
I was there right after the Russians invaded Georgia and took one-third of the country. Then Putin went on to annex Crimea and invade Ukraine. Just this month, Denis Voronenkov, a Russian lawmaker who opposed Putin and defected to Ukraine, was gunned down in broad daylight. His assassination is the latest incident in an ongoing pattern of Putin critics who have been killed mysteriously. In the last 15 years, at least 11 other well-known critics of Putin have been killed mysteriously.
The message is clear: cross Putin, and you will face the lethal wrath of the Russian bear. Putin thinks he can continue killing those who oppose him and no one is watching. But I am here to tell him today that America is watching, and America will never stop defending the defenseless and protecting the human rights of people who speak against tyranny—even Russians who speak against tyranny.
And that is just the way it is.