May 31, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE) highlighted the brutal human rights impact of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and called on the Biden administration to do more to hold Putin and other perpetrators accountable.
“In April of last year, the horrific images of corpses littering the streets of Bucha surfaced and made the entire world realize that Putin’s goal was not just territorial conquest in Ukraine but the brutal repression of the Ukrainian people…” said Ricketts during the hearing. “The Ukrainian people deserve justice… I want to make clear that in the short term, the biggest single thing we can do to make sure that Ukraine and the Ukrainian people get justice is to make sure that Ukraine wins and Putin loses. That has to happen. “
Ricketts also criticized the Biden administration’s slow response to weapons requests from Ukraine and went on to highlight the war crimes perpetuated on Ukrainian children by Putin’s Russia, including cultural genocide through kidnapping, indoctrination, and forced adoption. Since the war began, Russia has forcibly transferred nearly 20,000 Ukrainian children to Russia, and some estimates believe the number is much higher.
“In February, Yale University’s Humanitarian Research Lab identified 32 ‘integration’ camps where children are indoctrinated in Russian history, propaganda, language, and culture,” Ricketts said later in the hearing. “These monstrous abductions… have rightfully been condemned as a war crime by the international community… As a father of three children myself, this is the most heart wrenching thing I can think of – having your children taken away from you, never to see them again.”
Ricketts’ comments came during questioning of Dr. Beth Van Schaack, the State Department’s Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice during a hearing of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. The hearing was entitled “Accountability for Russian Atrocities in Ukraine.”
Watch the video HERE
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