Congressman Jim Costa (D-Fresno) led a moment of silence on the House floor Thursday honoring innocent civilians killed by Russian forces in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha.
Watch: Costa Leads Moment of Silence for Ukrainian War Dead
“It is heartbreaking to see the bodies of hundreds of Ukrainian civilians lining the streets in areas that have been laid to waste by Vladimir Putin’s military. Putin and his regime have cemented themselves as a force of evil,” Costa said in a news release.
“The United States and our allies must continue to stand up to Putin and tighten sanctions to cripple Russia’s economy, including ending the import of Russian fossil fuels globally. We must also work with our allies to continue to arm Ukraine so it can defend itself. The international community must remain vigilant and stand with Ukraine in every way possible, otherwise Putin will not stop. The future of Europe and our global security is at stake.”
House Passes Ukrainian War Crimes Investigation Bill
On Thursday, the Valley’s entire congressional delegation voted for H.R. 7276, the Ukrainian Invasion War Crimes Deterrence and Accountability Act. With “aye” votes from Costa, Josh Harder (D-Turlock), Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove), Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton), and David Valadao (R-Hanford), the bill passed 418-7.
Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) were among the seven Republicans who opposed the legislation.
The bill authorizes the United States to investigate alleged war crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine, and requires the president to report to Congress on atrocities there.
Ukrainian Officials View Mass Graves in Bucha
Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, Iryna Venediktova, visited Bucha on Friday, where journalists and returning Ukrainians discovered scores of bodies on streets and in mass graves after the withdrawal of Russian forces.
With Venediktova present, workers pulled corpses from a mass grave near a church. None of the dead were Russians, she said. Most of them had been shot. The prosecutor general’s office is investigating the deaths, and other mass casualties involving civilians, as possible war crimes.