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H.Res. 987: Expressing gratitude on behalf of the people of the United States to the journalists and news staff who are risking injury and death, are subject to grave threat, and have sacrificed their lives, to chronicle and report on the ongoing war in Ukraine resulting from Putin’s invasion.


The text of the resolution below is as of Mar 16, 2022 (Introduced).


IV

117th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. RES. 987

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 16, 2022

(for herself and Mrs. Bustos) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

RESOLUTION

Expressing gratitude on behalf of the people of the United States to the journalists and news staff who are risking injury and death, are subject to grave threat, and have sacrificed their lives, to chronicle and report on the ongoing war in Ukraine resulting from Putin’s invasion.

Whereas Ukraine declared independence from the Soviet Union on August 24, 1991, and that independence was reaffirmed in a popular referendum on December 1, 1991;

Whereas, on February 24, 2022, the Russian military invaded the sovereign country of Ukraine under the direction of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, carrying out attacks on cities with ballistic missiles, heavy artillery, and tanks;

Whereas the Geneva Conventions’ Protocol I includes the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, prohibiting attacks on civilian persons and populations, and defines journalists and war correspondents as civilians;

Whereas the Russian Federation was an original signatory to the Geneva Conventions, until Putin removed the Russian Federation from Protocol I, which protects civilians, in October 2019, demonstrating a clear disregard for innocent life;

Whereas, as of March 15, 2022, a total of 691 civilians, including children, are recorded as having been killed during the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine;

Whereas journalists and news staff are on the ground in Ukraine reporting freelance and for global networks and media, and are working on documentary efforts to record the ongoing humanitarian crisis and war caused by Putin’s invasion of the sovereign country of Ukraine;

Whereas many of the journalists and news staff covering the war in Ukraine are American citizens or working for American news agencies;

Whereas indiscriminate shelling by Russian Federation forces has gone so far as to shell humanitarian corridors, maternity hospitals, schools, and other primarily civilian locations;

Whereas journalists and news staff are on the ground along Russian-targeted humanitarian corridors and in major cities across Ukraine;

Whereas dozens of members of the free press have been murdered or injured by Putin’s forces as of March 15, 2022, with more casualties and injuries likely;

Whereas, on March 1, 2022, Ukrainian-based journalist and camera operator Yevhenii Sakun was killed when Russian forces shelled a television tower in Kyiv, Ukraine;

Whereas, on March 13, 2022, American documentarian and film director Brent Renaud was shot in Irpin, Ukraine, and later died of his wounds;

Whereas, on March 15, 2022, Ukrainian Fox News journalist Oleksandra Sasha Kuvshinova was killed in Horenka, Ukraine, when her vehicle was struck by incoming arms fire;

Whereas, on March 15, 2022, Irish Fox News cameraman and photographer Pierre Zakrzewski was killed in Horenka, Ukraine, when his vehicle was struck by incoming arms fire;

Whereas, on February 26, 2022, Danish journalist Stefan Weichert was shot and wounded while reporting near Okhtyrka, Ukraine;

Whereas, on February 26, 2022, Danish journalist Emil Filtenborg was shot and wounded while reporting near Okhtyrka, Ukraine;

Whereas, on February 28, 2022, British Sky News chief correspondent Stuart Ramsay was shot and wounded when his car was ambushed by Russian soldiers in Kyiv, Ukraine;

Whereas, on February 28, 2022, British Sky News camera operator Richie Mockler was shot and wounded when his car was ambushed by Russian soldiers in Kyiv, Ukraine;

Whereas, on March 13, 2022, American journalist Juan Arredondo was shot and wounded while reporting in Irpin, Ukraine;

Whereas, on March 15, 2022, American Fox News correspondent Benjamin Hall was wounded when his vehicle was struck by incoming arms fire in Horenka, Ukraine;

Whereas, on March 6, 2022, Swiss journalist Guillaume Briquet was wounded and robbed by Russia soldiers who shot at his car on the road to Mykolaiv, Ukraine;

Whereas it is possible that additional Ukrainian and foreign press have been or will be injured and killed so long as Putin’s forces continue their brutal attack on civilians;

Whereas all civilians, including journalists and news staff, should be spared violence by military forces;

Whereas Putin and his cronies have demonstrated complete disregard for innocent life, Ukraine’s sovereignty, the right to free speech, and the rights and value of a free press;

Whereas Putin is engaged in a propaganda war, as well as a military war, and the Russian Federation continues to push a false narrative about their presence in Ukraine;

Whereas the United States supports a free and fair press and rejects any and all propagandist efforts by the Russian Federation to cover up and hide the truth behind Putin’s invasion;

Whereas journalists and news staff on the ground in Ukraine who are reporting the truth to the world, including American journalists and news staff, are instrumental in combating false propaganda pushed by Putin and his cronies; and

Whereas despite the overwhelming threat and risk to their lives and the sacrifices already made, journalists and news staff continue to report bravely from Ukraine: Now, therefore, be it

That the House of Representatives—

(1)

declares its gratitude on behalf of the people of the United States to the journalists and news staff who continue to put themselves in harm’s way to report on the humanitarian crisis and ongoing war on the ground in Ukraine following Putin’s invasion;

(2)

remembers the journalists and news staff who have lost their lives or been severely injured reporting from Ukraine, and conveys the sympathies and appreciation of the people of the United States to their families for their sacrifice;

(3)

condemns Russian President Putin, Belarussian President Lukashenko, and their officials for authorizing and executing attacks on innocent Ukrainian civilians, residential areas, and humanitarian corridors, resulting in the loss of life of civilians, including journalists and news staff; and

(4)

honors the contributions of journalists and news staff reporting from the war in Ukraine as essential in the ongoing struggle for the rights of a free press and free speech internationally, pivotal in pushing back against false propaganda by tyrants, and crucial to informing Americans and the world of the horrors being wrought against the Ukrainian people.