Expulsion Of Russian Ambassador To U.S. Demanded By Congressman

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Amid mounting reports of the atrocities inflicted by Russian occupiers on Ukrainian civilians, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) has demanded the expulsion of the Russian Ambassador to the United States, among other steps. Certain European countries have already expelled dozens of Russian diplomats at a time, and Lithuanian officials kicked out the Russian ambassador to their country, but ordering the departure of the leader of the Russian diplomatic delegation to the United States hasn’t yet figured in the U.S. response to the horrors in Ukraine. Recent devastating reports have focused on newly liberated areas around the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. Russian forces “shot everyone they saw” in the Kyiv suburb known as Bucha, resident Svitlana Munich stated. On one street in Bucha, nearly two dozen apparent civilian corpses lined a single road. Some of those found to have been killed by the Russians in the town had their hands tied, and Inna Sovsun, a member of Ukraine’s parliament, said children were among those who suffered that fate.

Lieu pointedly remarked as follows:

‘The horrific and depraved Russian war crimes in Bucha and elsewhere demand a response. Here are some actions we should take: -Kick out the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. -Sanction all Russian banks, not just some. -Give the Ukrainians all weapons platforms they have requested.’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited Bucha this week, where hundreds of civilians died because of the violence of Putin’s forces. Journalists were there during the president’s visit, and discussing the travesties in the town and across Ukraine, the Ukrainian leader remarked, “It is very important for us that journalists are here. We want you to show the world what was happening here, what the Russian military was doing, what the Russian Federation was doing in peaceful Ukraine… These are war crimes and they will be recognized by the world as genocide. We are aware of thousands of people killed and tortured, with their limbs cut off. Raped women, murdered children. I believe this is genocide.” Before Russian troops were driven from Bucha and the horrors they inflicted there began to be discovered, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken already stated that the Biden administration believed Putin’s troops to be guilty of war crimes in Ukraine. Besides Bucha, other Kyiv-area jurisdictions — including Irpin and Borodianka (also spelled Borodyanka) — have also been the sites of widespread Russian violence against civilians, and other areas, such as the besieged city of Mariupol and the Russian-occupied city of Kherson, remain in further danger.

Strikes also remain possible where Russians have withdrawn their troops. Although numbers could further fluctuate as efforts to save people in the city continue, some 130,000 people remained in Mariupol according to remarks by the city’s mayor shared by The Kyiv Independent this Monday. According to reports, Russian forces are also attempting to capture Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. Separately, Luhansk-area Governor Serhiy Haidai said he “can confirm that there is a significant accumulation of troops and military equipment that is preparing for a major offensive” in his area — so recent departures of Russian troops from areas including those around the Ukrainian capital have clearly been angled towards increasing offensives elsewhere rather than broadly drawing down violence in Ukraine.