Russia sanctions Iowa members of Congress

All four Iowans serving in the U.S. House of Representatives were among 398 members of Congress the Russian Federation sanctioned on April 13. The Russian Foreign Ministry described the move as a reaction to the Biden administration’s sanctions against hundreds of Russian parliamentarians.

U.S. Representatives Ashley Hinson (IA-01), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-02), Cindy Axne (IA-03), and Randy Feenstra (IA-04) have all voted for military assistance to Ukraine in recent weeks. And it’s unlikely any are bothered by the prospect of being denied entry to Russia.

In fact, Hinson tweeted that the sanctions were a “badge of honor,” adding,

Putin is an autocratic thug and a war criminal–I’ll continue to do everything in my power to cut him and his cronies off at the knees and ensure Ukraine has the resources necessary to send Putin into retreat.

Feenstra tweeted,

I’m honored to be on the list of members of Congress sanctioned by Russia. Putin is a thug and his crimes in Ukraine are causing untold suffering. I #standwithUkraine in their fight for freedom.

While visiting Menlo, Iowa (Guthrie County) on April 12 to promote ethanol use, President Joe Biden referred to Russian actions in Ukraine as “genocide.” Previously, the president and other administration officials had called Russian attacks on civilian targets and other atrocities “war crimes” or “crimes against humanity.” Myah Ward reported for Politico on the new choice of words:

“It’s become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out the idea of being Ukrainian. The evidence is mounting. It looks different than last week,” the president said before departing Iowa. “More evidence is coming out, literally, of the horrible things that the Russians have done in Ukraine. And we’re gonna only learn more and more about the devastation, and we’ll let the lawyers decide internationally whether or not it qualifies, but it sure seems that way to me.”

UPDATE: Miller-Meeks said in a written statement released on April 14,

“I will not bow down to the thugs in Moscow. The invasion of Ukraine violates international law and cannot go unpunished. I am proud to stand with the people of Ukraine and I am inspired by their bravery and will to fight for their country. I will continue to work with all of my colleagues to hold Russia, Putin, and his cronies accountable for their war crimes against the people of Ukraine.”

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