The governor of West Virginia announced on Monday his state was stepping up for Ukraine as it continues to battle invading Russian forces.
In a press release, Gov. Jim Justice, a former Democrat who switched to the GOP as then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump was seeking his first term, noted that he is responding to a Defense Department request to send war materiel to the beleaguered east European country.
As such, West Virginia’s National Guard will be transferring an undisclosed number of Vietnam-era M113 armored personnel carriers to Ukraine along with additional military aid.
“By joining with other states in sending numerous of these armored vehicles to Ukraine, we hope and pray that this will give Ukrainian forces a major leg up in their defense of their home country,” Gov. Justice said.
He went on to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
“In West Virginia, we will always stand up for what’s right, which is why we stand united with Ukraine and will continue to help in every way possible, especially as we continue to learn about the war crimes and other atrocities that continue to occur in this unprovoked and intolerable attack on a nation and its people,” he said.
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This is not the first time West Virginia has volunteered to help Ukraine. Last month, Gov. Justice asked for unused or recently expired ballistic vests to be collected from West Virginia law enforcement agencies and sent to Ukraine.
He also pledged $5 million to help a bombed Ukrainian maternity and children’s hospital.
Right after Putin invaded Ukraine in February, Gov. Justice issued an executive order banning the purchase and sale of all Russian-produced liquor, while making Ukrainian-produced liquor available to purchase.
“With Putin choosing to continue his deadly assault on Ukraine, he has shown us what he truly is: a monster and a madman,” Justice noted.
“He’s blown up maternity hospitals, innocent people are being killed every day. Despite all the sanctions placed on Russia from across the globe, Putin continues his unyielding path of destruction, tearing apart family after family,” the governor said.
“As I’ve said several times, if he’s not going to stop on his own, we need to make him stop. We can’t be afraid to act. We are America. We need to do something about it,” he noted.