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Russia is a State Sponsor of Terrorism
Designate Russia as a State Sponsor of Terrorism H.R.3979
- This Act may be cited as the “Russia is a State Sponsor of Terrorism Act”.
To provide for the designation of the Russian Federation as a state sponsor of terrorism.
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the “Russia is a State Sponsor of Terrorism Act”.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Congress finds the following:
(1) Pursuant to existing law, it is United States policy to designate countries that have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism as state sponsors of terrorism.
(2) Cuba, the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea, Iran, and Syria are designated as state sponsors of terrorism.
(3) At the direction of President Vladimir Putin, the Government of the Russian Federation has and continues to promote acts of international terrorism against political opponents and nation states.
(4) Under the orders of President Putin, the Government of the Russian Federation engaged in a campaign of terror, utilizing brutal force targeting civilians during the Second Chechen War.
(5) Actions by the Government of the Russian Federation against civilian centers, such as Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, left countless innocent men, women, and children dead or wounded.
(6) Since 2014, the Government of the Russian Federation has supported separatists engaging in acts of violence against Ukrainian civilians in the Donbas region.
(7) The Government of the Russian Federation provides material support to Syria, a nation currently designated as a state sponsor of terrorism, that has been used to target the Syrian people.
(8) According to the Congressional Research Service, the Russian Federation uses private military networks of mercenaries, such as the Wagner Group, which collaborates with the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, to support the foreign policy objectives of the Russian Federation. These private mercenary networks supported by the Russian Federation have spread terror in various parts of the world.
(9) The Department of the Treasury identifies the Wagner Group as “a designated Russian Ministry of Defense proxy force” and states that “Wagner’s activities in other countries, including Ukraine, Syria, Sudan, and Libya, have generated insecurity and incited violence against innocent civilians”.
(10) It was reported in February 2022 that more than 400 Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group were dispatched to Kyiv with orders from the Kremlin to assassinate President Volodymyr Zelensky and members of the Government of Ukraine.
(11) On March 1, 2022, Jason Blazakis, the director of the Department of State’s Counterterrorism Finance and Designations Office in the Bureau of Counterterrorism from 2008 to 2018, wrote in reference to white supremacist groups that “Russia provides sanctuary to a U.S.-designated terrorist group, the Russian Imperial Movement, which operates with impunity in Russian territory.”.
(12) On March 17, 2022, President Volodymyr Zelensky called for the world to acknowledge the Russian Federation as a terrorist state.
(13) The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has appealed to Congress to encourage the Department of State to recognize the Russian Federation as a state sponsor of terrorism noting that “the Russian Federation has for years supported and financed terrorist regimes and terrorist organizations, including being the main supplier of weapons to the Assad regime in Syria and supporting terrorists in the Middle East and Latin America, organizing acts of international terrorism, including the poisoning of the Skripal family in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the downing of a civilian Malaysian airliner and other acts of terrorism”.
(14) On November 23, 2022, the European Parliament recognized Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.
(15) On November 23, 2022, the European Parliament recognized the Russian Federation as a state sponsor of terrorism.
(16) On January 26, 2023, the Department of the Treasury designated the Wagner Group as a Transnational Criminal Organization, citing that “Wagner personnel have engaged in an ongoing pattern of serious criminal activity, including mass executions, rape, child abductions, and physical abuse in the Central African Republic (CAR) and Mali”.
(17) As of January 26, 2023, the Wagner Group has also been sanctioned by Australia, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.
(18) On February 25, 2023, the European Union implemented Council Regulation 2023/430, which sanctioned eight people and seven entities for serious human rights abuses linked to the Wagner Group in the Central African Republic and Sudan.
(19) On February 27, 2023, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called Russia’s actions in Ukraine “the most massive violations of human rights” in the world today in a speech to the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
(20) The United States has a range of tools available to hold the Russian Federation accountable, reduce its war machine, and isolate it economically and diplomatically, including by designating it as a state sponsor of terrorism and imposing corresponding sanctions.
SEC. 3. DESIGNATION OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION AS A STATE SPONSOR OF TERRORISM.
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