How the California National Guard helps streamline US aid to Ukraine

California National Guard Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin spoke to KCRA 3’s Ty Steele about how California service members are actively working to streamline communications to other United States government agencies to get aid to Ukraine quickly and more efficiently.Ukraine has been partnered with the California National Guard under a state partnership program since 1993. Over the decades, California service members have been training side by side with Ukrainian military members to help the formerly Soviet-controlled state become an independent democracy with a lethal military capable of defending itself against aggressors like Russia.The below statements from Baldwin have been shortened for brevity. How are the spirits of the Ukrainian forces more than two weeks into this invasion? Gen. Baldwin: “The Ukrainians are proud people. They are very tough. They are good fighters. They’re very patriotic and loyal to their country, and they are going to fight to the bitter end.” What were your first thoughts when Russia invaded Ukraine? Gen. Baldwin: “I could not believe that Putin had actually done it, and then of course, profound sadness because of all this time we had spent working with Ukrainians to prepare them. The moment had come.” How is the partnership between the California National Guard and the Ukrainian military playing out in the fighting overseas right now? Gen. Baldwin: “They are at the forefront of fighting for democracy. The rest of the world is rallying in support like no one expected to see. But we are extraordinarily proud of our Ukrainian partners are doing this on behalf of the rest of the world. “The California National Guard does not have boots on the ground in Ukraine but did activate the full capability of the Guard once Russia invaded. What is the California National Guard doing behind the scenes right here in the Sacramento region to support our Ukrainian allies overseas? Baldwin: “To be able to facilitate requirements and requests that are coming from the Ukrainians to other parts of the US government in order to break down bureaucracy and streamline requests to help the Ukrainians as soon as possible.” You met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in September 2021 when he came to Northern California to ask for more help in the face of Russian aggression. What’s your message to Ukrainians fighting for democracy? Gen. Baldwin: “We are so proud of them, and the fight that they’re putting up is going to the annals of history as one of the most impressive stands in the face of illegal aggression.” As a life-long professional soldier, how do you feel about President Putin’s actions against Ukraine? Gen. Baldwin: “They’re deliberately targeting civilians in a terror campaign, knowing they can through conventional tactics beat the Ukrainian armed forces. What they’re doing is to try and encircle the cities and rain fire down on trapped civilians in order to force them to surrender or to force the Ukrainians to the bargaining table. “What’s your message to President Putin? Gen. Baldwin: “This is an illegal invasion. He needs to withdraw his forces. He is not achieving his objectives, and it’s time for him to quit and go home.” Watch Ty Steele’s full interview with Major General David S. Baldwin below.

California National Guard Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin spoke to KCRA 3’s Ty Steele about how California service members are actively working to streamline communications to other United States government agencies to get aid to Ukraine quickly and more efficiently.

Ukraine has been partnered with the California National Guard under a state partnership program since 1993. Over the decades, California service members have been training side by side with Ukrainian military members to help the formerly Soviet-controlled state become an independent democracy with a lethal military capable of defending itself against aggressors like Russia.

The below statements from Baldwin have been shortened for brevity.

How are the spirits of the Ukrainian forces more than two weeks into this invasion?

Gen. Baldwin: “The Ukrainians are proud people. They are very tough. They are good fighters. They’re very patriotic and loyal to their country, and they are going to fight to the bitter end.”

What were your first thoughts when Russia invaded Ukraine?

Gen. Baldwin: “I could not believe that [President Vladimir] Putin had actually done it, and then of course, profound sadness because of all this time we had spent working with Ukrainians to prepare them. The moment had come. “

How is the partnership between the California National Guard and the Ukrainian military playing out in the fighting overseas right now?

Gen. Baldwin: “They are at the forefront of fighting for democracy. The rest of the world is rallying in support like no one expected to see. But we are extraordinarily proud of our Ukrainian partners are doing this on behalf of the rest of the world.”

The California National Guard does not have boots on the ground in Ukraine but did activate the full capability of the Guard once Russia invaded. What is the California National Guard doing behind the scenes right here in the Sacramento region to support our Ukrainian allies overseas?

Gen. Baldwin: “To be able to facilitate requirements and requests that are coming from the Ukrainians to other parts of the US government in order to break down bureaucracy and streamline requests to help the Ukrainians as soon as possible.”

You met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in September 2021 when he came to Northern California to ask for more help in the face of Russian aggression. What’s your message to Ukrainians fighting for democracy?

Gen. Baldwin: “We are so proud of them, and the fight that they’re putting up is going to the annals of history as one of the most impressive stands in the face of illegal aggression.”

As a life-long professional soldier, how do you feel about President Putin’s actions against Ukraine?

Gen. Baldwin: “They’re deliberately targeting civilians in a terror campaign, knowing they can through conventional tactics beat the Ukrainian armed forces. What they’re doing is to try and encircle the cities and rain fire down on trapped civilians in order to force them to surrender or to force the Ukrainians to the bargaining table. “

What’s your message to President Putin?

Gen. Baldwin: “This is an illegal invasion. He needs to withdraw his forces. He is not achieving his objectives, and it’s time for him to quit and go home.”

Watch Ty Steele’s full interview with Major General David S. Baldwin below.

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