McConnell Condemns Russian Atrocities, Calls for More International Resolve

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Ukraine:

“It hardly seemed possible that the reports and images from Ukraine could grow even more horrifying. But they have.

“In recent days, Ukrainian troops have reclaimed the town of Bucha from the illegal and illegitimate Russian invasion. And in the wake of the retreating Russians, the Ukrainians and the press have reported evidence of evil, wanton torture, rape, and murder of civilians.

“There are reports of mass graves. Of people executed with their hands bound behind their backs. The photographs and reports are sickening and appalling.

“Since before Putin even began his escalation, I have spent months pushing the Biden Administration and our allies and partners to get as much lethal assistance possible to the Ukrainians as quickly as possible. I have supported many of the steps our President has gotten around to taking, but in almost every case, I wish he had acted sooner and more boldly.

“We know of the horrors committed by Russian forces in Bucha because the Ukrainian military reclaimed the town after pushing back the Russians. These latest revelations must only strengthen and intensify our resolve to get the Ukrainians what they need, on the timeframe they need, to liberate more towns currently under Russian control, to prevent Russia from committing new atrocities, to fight and win this war.

“This also further reinforces what I wish more of our European friends realize: This is a time for choosing.

“This is not time for business as usual, and there can be no return to business as usual whenever and however the dust settles.

“Europe must move more urgently to decouple from Russia. Yes, this will entail some short-term economic pain. Yes, their own shortsighted energy policies have left their countries too dependent. But there are times when geopolitical realities and moral imperatives must outweigh short-term financial costs. Our partners should recognize that such a time is staring them in the face.

“So should our own American private sector.

“Internationally, I’m sure there will be much virtue-signaling rhetoric over the atrocities committed on Ukrainian soil by Russia. Let us be honest that referrals to the International Criminal Court or invocations of the UN Human Rights Council may slake people’s consciences, but will not curtail the atrocities or stop the violence.

“Only victory by Ukraine can do that.

“Finally, the outpouring of outrage at these atrocities should prompt a second look at other terrible actions that the world has come to simply shrug and accept.

“The Biden Administration is right to ask the UN to expel Russia from the Human Rights Council, but they should not stop there. The world that rightly recoils in horror at the photographs from Ukraine should not look the other way past Xi’s concentration camps for the Uyghur people.

“The modern totalitarianism of the People’s Republic of China is no less abhorrent because it is sanitized and organized. The world’s worst abusers of human rights do not deserve to sit on such a council.”