McCormick Introduces Bill to Designate Russia a State Sponsor of Terrorism

McCormick Introduces Bill to Designate Russia a State Sponsor of Terrorism

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
June 10, 2023

The Russian-Ukraine War has seen instances where militias and terrorists have operated with Russian government support, committing war crimes. As a result, Representative Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-FL) has introduced a bipartisan bill to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Last April, Human Rights Watch detailed war crimes committed by Russian troops occupying Ukraine, including rape, looting, and summary executions. In March of this year, TIME Magazine reported continued actions such as the forced Russification of Ukrainian children and the destruction of Ukrainian cultural representation, which fall under the definition of genocide.

In addition to current war crimes, Rep. McCormick's bill cites Russian conduct in the Second Chechen War (1999-2009), its continued support of Syria's Assad regime (which is also a state sponsor of terrorism), and actions such as the Skripal assassination attempt in 2018 and the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in 2014 as evidence of Russia's state terrorism.

In November, the European Parliament designated Russia a state sponsor of terrorism, 

Rep. McCormick also cites actions of the infamous Wagner Group, described in the bill as "a designated Russian Ministry of Defense proxy force." Like the Russian Army, the Wagner Group's involvement in criminal activity such as summary executions, looting, and rape in Africa and attempting to assassinate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last February made the Dept. of the Treasury name the Wagner Group a transnational criminal organization late this January.

Should McCormick's bill pass, Russia would face additional sanctions imposing further economic isolation.

Rep. McCormick stated, "I just joined @RepTedLieu to re-introduce bipartisan legislation that would officially deem Russia a state sponsor of terrorism and inflict economic consequences on Putin's regime."

McCormick's bill comes at a time when many Florida Republicans are questioning the legitimacy of funding Ukraine's war effort against Russia, citing corruption within the Zelensky Administration and recent remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron.

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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