BORODIANKA, Ukraine — In a hastily organized show of support for Ukraine, Senator Steve Daines of Montana and Representative Victoria Spartz of Indiana traveled on Thursday to Kyiv and sites of rights abuses in the city’s suburbs, becoming the first American officials to turn up since the start of the war.
“Nothing can substitute for actually being here, seeing it first-hand, spending time with the people and leaders here in Ukraine who have been horribly affected by this war,” Mr. Daines said in an interview, standing on a heap of rubble from an apartment building that had collapsed on its inhabitants in the town of Borodianka.
It was important, he said, for American elected officials to show solidarity.
Mr. Daines and Ms. Spartz, both Republicans, were invited by the Ukrainian government, with just over a day’s notice. Mr. Daines had broken off from a visit to Eastern Europe to make the trip. Ms. Spartz, who last year became the first Ukrainian-born lawmaker to serve in Congress, had planned an unofficial visit to Ukraine and later joined Mr. Daines for the trip supported by the Ukrainian government.
Once in Kyiv, where they arrived by train from western Ukraine, the pair traveled by car escorted by the police on a route through stark scenes of destruction, blown-up Russian tanks and rubble, where rescuers were still searching for bodies. The two also observed an exhumation from a communal grave in Bucha, a town northwest of Kyiv where hundreds of bodies were found on the streets after Russian forces retreated.