Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana and Republican Rep. Victoria Spartz of Indiana have become the first American officials known to visit Ukraine since the Russian invasion started in late February.
For well over a month, Ukraine has been facing a brutal onslaught as Russia has wreaked death and destruction. But Ukraine has been striving to defend itself.
Daines noted that proof of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war crimes abound.
“There is indisputable evidence of Putin’s war crimes everywhere—the images of shallow mass graves filled with civilians, women and children are heart wrenching,” Daines noted in a statement, according to NBC News. “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 have been cleaned up.”
“Nothing can substitute for actually being here, seeing it first-hand, spending time with the people and leaders here in Ukraine who have been horribly affected by this war,” Daines said during an interview, according to the Times.
“I hope that our visit will encourage more American officials and leaders to come, to stand with the people of Ukraine,” Daines said, according to the outlet.
Spartz remarked that it was “important to show our support, to show we care,” the Times noted.
“We’ve been driving for miles and miles and miles, seeing death and destruction caused by Vladimir Putin in this evil invasion,” Daines said. “I think we should be providing the lethal aid that they need to win this war,” the senator said, according to the Times. “The humanitarian crisis will not end until the war ends. And the war will not end until the Ukrainians win.”