The cynical take on the steady procession of foreign dignitaries to Irpin and Bucha, Ukraine, is that it’s a quick drive from Kyiv, and offers a poignant photo op that plays well with voters back home, adding some “war-zone grit” to their resumes.
Seen in a kinder light, the trips to the location of alleged Russian atrocities boost the effort to rout Kremlin forces in Ukraine, site of countless horrors since last year’s February invasion. Shock on visitors’ faces seems to translate directly into pledges to donate more military and other support, and to seek justice for the victims.
“Here in Bucha, we've seen our humanity shattered,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in April 2022, when she was one of the first foreign VIPs to enter the newly liberated town.
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