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US senators visit Kyiv to promote Russia ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ Bill

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US Senators Lindsey Graham (left) and Richard Blumenthal visit an exhibition of destroyed Russian vehicles and weapons, in Kyiv, on July 7, 2022.

PHOTO: REUTERS

KYIV (REUTERS) – Two US senators seeking to pass a law designating Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism” visited Ukraine’s capital on Thursday (July 7) to discuss the Bill with President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Republican Lindsey Graham told Reuters in a joint interview with Democrat Richard Blumenthal that the Bill would put Russia in “the category of Iran, Syria and North Korea.”

Graham said he believed it could get near-unanimous support in the US Senate.

Zelensky thanked the senators for their work and emphasised the importance of bipartisan US support.

Blumenthal cited photos he saw of suspected atrocities by Russian forces in the Kyiv satellite town of Bucha in March as evidence that Russia deserved the designation. Ukrainian and international prosecutors are investigating who is responsible.

“If that isn’t terrorism, I don’t know what is,” he said.

Russian forces invaded Ukraine on Feb 24 and Moscow denies they have targeted civilians.

Both senators said they believed Ukraine could effectively use an insurgency in Russian-occupied areas, along with US-supplied weapons systems, to launch a counter-offensive and take back territory occupied by Russia.

“Long-range artillery is very, very important. But so is the hand-to-hand insurgency that we are hoping to see in eastern Ukraine, in the territory that’s already been occupied by the Russians,” Blumenthal said.

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