Apr 14, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Two U.S. lawmakers become first officials to visit Kyiv since start of war

Rep. Spartz

Representative Victoria Spartz, a Republican from Indiana, before a State of the Union address. She is the only member in Congress born in Ukraine. Photo: Scott Applewhite/AP Photo/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Representative Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) arrived Thursday in Kyiv, in what they described as a show of support to Ukraine, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Daines and Spartz are the first American officials to visit Ukraine since the start of the war.

Details: Daines and Spartz were invited by the Ukrainian government with just over a day's notice, according to the Times.

  • Spartz, the sole member in Congress born in Ukraine, had previously planned an unofficial visit to Ukraine, according to the Times.
  • The Republican lawmakers arrived in Ukraine as the Biden administration considers sending "a high-level official" to Kyiv in the days ahead, per the Times.

What they're saying: “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 in an interview with the Times.

"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," he said in a statement later.

  • "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," Daines added.
  • "The sooner we can provide Ukraine with the lethal aid they need to win this war, the sooner we will end the war crimes."

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