One of the first two US lawmakers to visit the devastation in Ukraine said the horror he witnessed this week was “indisputable proof of Putin’s war crimes”.
US Senator Steve Daines of Montana and Indiana Representative Victoria Spartz, born in Ukraine, traveled from Kyiv to Bucha, where hundreds of civilians were discovered in mass graves strewn across the streets of the city, a reported The Hill.
Daines issued a statement describing the gruesome scene and called for more weapons to be sent to the country, according to the outlet.
“There is overwhelming evidence of Putin’s war crimes everywhere – the images of shallow mass graves filled with civilians, women and children are heartbreaking.
“America and the world need to know about Putin’s atrocities against the innocent people of Ukraine now, not after time has passed and the aftermath of evil and bloodshed has been cleaned up. The sooner we can provide Ukraine with the lethal aid it needs to win this war, the sooner we will end war crimes,” he reportedly wrote.
Spartz said the visit was “important to show our support, to show that we care,” according to The New York Times.
The GOP members were invited by the Ukrainian government and arrived in the capital by train from western Ukraine with one day’s notice, the newspaper said.
Daines was already in Eastern Europe and Spartz had planned an unofficial visit to his native country, according to the report.
The pair were reportedly escorted by cops through scenes of rubble and witnessed officials digging a mass grave in Bucha, where countless citizens were tied up and executed by Russian troops.
“We have traveled miles and miles and miles, seeing the death and destruction wrought by Vladimir Putin in this evil invasion,” Daines said.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have made high-level visits to neighboring Poland in recent weeks, but Daines and Spartz were the first U.S. officials to cross the border, The Times reported.
Lawmakers said they urged the United States to follow the example of some European countries and return diplomats to Kyiv now that the city is no longer under direct threat.
New York Post