I am writing to thank you for agreeing to meet with our contingent of your constituents last month during the Ukraine Action Summit. As you are aware, support for Ukraine against Russian tyranny and war crimes is at a crossroads. International rule of law, peace, and democracy are on the line.
I am Robert G. Rose, a travel journalist, producer, and host of the nationally syndicated Raw Travel TV. I am originally from Tennessee. I have farmland in Giles County, where I grew up, and my family has lived for several generations. For this reason, I was with the Tennessee contingent that met with your office.
I’ve been blessed to travel to over 90 countries, including Ukraine. In five visits since 2012. I’ve witnessed the country’s evolution and people’s fight for freedom. I have visited twice since the full Russian invasion in 2022 and have documented evidence of horrific war crimes along with inspiring stories of resilience. I’ve spoken to countless Ukrainian civilians and soldiers, thanking me for the USA’s support.
I am not Ukrainian, but traveling to Ukraine has inspired me to become a more involved American citizen committed to democracy and freedom worldwide.
As our elected official, I know that you know that YOU are responsible to the American people to do what’s in OUR best interest, and what I firmly believe is clearly in OUR best interest now is to help Ukraine defeat one of the biggest obstacles to world peace and stability in our time, Vladimir Putin.
I visited Russia in 2010. I was harassed by the FSB while touring Red Square with a local.
On that same trip, I made many new Russian friends, including a well-known musician, Dima Spirin, lead singer of the band Tarakany! (Cockroach) who has been forced into exile in South America due to his protest music for peace. Dima’s one-time musical collaborator, an American musician living in Russia, Michael Travis Leake, was arrested on trumped-up drug dealing charges while I was in Ukraine last June. He is languishing in prison as I type.
My travels have also included a trip to Russian-occupied Ossetia in the small country of Georgia, which I shared in an episode. My friend and guide, George, was in the Georgian military when Russian troops illegally seized his family’s land, and relatives were killed during the 2008 Russian invasion there.
In short, I have first-hand tangible experiences related to the evil intentions of Vladimir Putin on Russia’s neighbors and democracy worldwide.
The entire world knows Russia is not a place that allows democracy and freedom of expression to flourish, which begs the question – why are some in your GOP Party amplifying Russia’s disinformation and propaganda instead of supporting Ukraine?
Ukraine incredibly rebuffed Russia’s 2022 invasion, and now Russia is getting desperate, garnering military aid from Iran and North Korea. But Ukraine is a country where even amputated soldiers return to the front line to fight for freedom. With courageous fighters like this, why would the US stop supporting Ukraine and allow terrorism to prevail? Surely it’s not a secret admiration of Putin or fascism? Or simply because a Democratic president is in office? That would be traitorous as well as illogical. So… why?
The USA’s political parties, on the left and the right, must stop these political games and unite to continue to support Ukraine financially and militarily from both a moral and strategic point of view.
- There have been over 10,000 Ukrainian civilians targeted and murdered by Russia (including 500 to 1,000 children). If we don’t support Ukraine, more will be slaughtered in their homes.
- There are more than 20,000 Ukrainian children who have been kidnapped by Russia and taken to Re-education camps. (War Crimes). These children stand little chance of ever being returned to their homeland and families if we stop supporting Ukraine.
- The 1994 Budapest Memorandum explicitly guaranteed Ukraine’s protection in exchange for their giving up their nuclear weapons, weapons that, if they currently had, would most certainly mean Russia would never have invaded. Our allies need to know we live up to our commitments.
- Stopping Genocide – Russia’s attack on Ukraine is a continuation of over 300 years of trying to erase the Ukrainian nation, culture, language, and people. As a recent article lays out, Russia’s continued attack on Ukraine meets five of the five criteria constituting genocide. It also lays out why it’s clear that peace with Russia is currently impossible, and if they are allowed to take Ukrainian land and commit these horrific war crimes without consequences, they will not stop there. It’s a six-minute read. Please read it HERE. If you could have prevented the Holocaust in WW II, you would have, wouldn’t you?
- It’s a good investment. For less than 5% of the U.S. total defense budget, the U.S. can weaken a powerful terrorist foe without firing a single shoot or risking a single American soldier.
- Support will prevent future conflicts and potentially World War III. A Russian defeat conveys to other would-be invaders that international rules and laws remain. Thus, the world will be much safer for future generations. Do you honestly believe that Hamas would have attacked Israel on Oct. 7th without Putin’s aggression in Ukraine?
- Food and Energy prices will stabilize. As you are aware, Ukraine is the breadbasket of the world. After Putin’s defeat, future food and energy prices will stabilize- unless you don’t want to see that in an election year? Surely our politics are not so poisoned for that to be the case? Impoverished people worldwide are struggling, thus destabilizing more countries and making the world more dangerous.
- Aid money has been corruption-free. The money spent thus far has had unprecedented oversight controls by the Office of the Inspector General. There are multiple safeguards to protect our investment. Thus far, there has been no proof of maleficence. On every trip to Ukraine, I was NEVER taken advantage of, misled, ripped off, or robbed, as in many other countries. In my experience, Ukraine has been one of the safest and most honest destinations I’ve ever visited, from taxi drivers to vendors on the street to travel agents. Concerns over corruption are a Russian propaganda-fueled red herring. Stop amplifying this disinformation, PLEASE.
I believe supporting freedom and democracy should be bipartisan—most Americans I know are disappointed to see such polarizing politics displayed now.
At the same time, Russian disinformation and propaganda are amplified by US elected officials (what?! why?!) primarily by an extreme few on the right. Ukrainians are flesh and blood, not political pawns to be toyed with over petty political power struggles.
I still believe in an America that stands up for democracy, freedom, and doing the right thing, and I am not alone in my assessment. From all parts of the political spectrum, hundreds of Americans (many former U.S. military) are in Ukraine, helping in various roles, from humanitarian to military. 22-year-old Willy Joseph Cancel and 24-year-old Joshua Jones of Tennessee lived up to our beloved home state’s moniker of “Volunteer,” sacrificing their lives for Ukraine to be free. Please do not disrespect their family or tarnish their memory by refusing to continue support.
Will you be on the right side of history, standing for freedom and democracy, or be remembered as one who stood with fascism and tyranny? I, my viewers, followers, and the world are watching. Tennessee needs to live up to our “volunteer” tradition! Please uphold your responsibility to freedom by voting “yes” for continued financial and military support for Ukraine. Your legacy and a lot more depend on it.
Robert G. Rose
Founder and Executive Producer
AIM Tell-A-Vision Group & Raw Travel TV