WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott and Congresswoman Victoria Spartz (R-IN) released the following statement after meeting with Ukrainian soldiers who were recently held by Russia as prisoners of war (POW), as well as the family members of current Ukrainian POWs.
Russian forces are denying Ukrainian POWs the right guaranteed to them under the Geneva Convention to be visited by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Congresswoman Spartz has been in contact with Patrick Hamilton, the Head of the ICRC's Delegation to the United States and Canada, and yesterday, following his meeting with Ukrainian service members and families, Senator Scott also spoke with Mr. Hamilton to express his strong support for the ICRC's mission and work to visit POWs and ensure proper treatment of these individuals in accordance with international treaties and laws.
“Since Russia’s unlawful and violent invasion of Ukraine began, we have heard horrific stories of brutal violence both on and off the battlefield. Putin has laid bare his evil intentions for the world to see, and we cannot ignore it. While we have received many briefings here in Washington on the battles across Ukraine, hearing firsthand from these Ukrainian POWs and the family members of those currently being held by Russian forces this week further exposed the unbelievable brutality of Russia’s war. It is essential that the ICRC have full access to all POWs. We fully support the ICRC’s work of ensuring the human rights of POWs are protected and will never tolerate action to hinder its access or otherwise strip the rights afforded to POWs and humanitarian organization under the Geneva Convention.”