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Joe Biden has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of state-sponsored ‘genodcide' in Ukraine.
The US President has labelled his Russian counterpart a ‘war criminal’ in the past, but his administration has been cautious about using the G-word.
However, during a domestic policy event in Iowa, Biden dropped the term and backed himself for it.
Biden said (via The Guardian): “Your family budget, your ability to fill up your tank - none of it should hinge on whether a dictator declares war and commits genocide a half a world away.
“Yes, I called it genocide because it’s become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out the idea of even being Ukrainian.
“And the evidence is mounting.
“More evidence is coming out of the horrible things that the Russians have done in Ukraine. And we’re going to only learn more and more about the devastation.
"We’ll let the lawyers decide internationally whether or not it qualifies, but it sure seems that way to me.”
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy applauded Biden for ‘calling’ out the Eastern European leader.
He wrote on Twitter: “True words of a true leader @POTUS. Calling things by their names is essential to stand up to evil.
"We are grateful for US assistance provided so far and we urgently need more heavy weapons to prevent further Russian atrocities.”
True words of a true leader @POTUS. Calling things by their names is essential to stand up to evil. We are grateful for US assistance provided so far and we urgently need more heavy weapons to prevent further Russian atrocities.— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) April 12, 2022
President Zelenskyy has also demanded that Putin face a Nuremberg-style trial over his war crimes, accusing the Russian Armed Forces of committing the most violent acts since ‘World War Two’.
According to The Scotsman, during a UK-convened meeting with the UN, Zelenskyy said Russian troops are intentionally targeting innocent civilians.
“Russian troops are deliberately destroying Ukrainian cities to ashes with artillery and air strikes. They are deliberately blocking cities, creating mass starvation.
“They deliberately shoot columns of civilians on the road trying to escape from the hostilities.”
The US President has also called for Putin to face a war crimes trial.
Following the relentless attacks in Bucha, where over 400 bodies of Ukrainians were discovered, Biden told reporters: “He is a war criminal.
President Biden on Putin: "He is a war criminal, but we have gather the information...We have to gather all the detail so this can be an actual have a war crime trial. This guy is brutal. What's happening in Bucha is outrageous." pic.twitter.com/SnlJdHgOT7— CSPAN (@cspan) April 4, 2022
“But we have to gather the information.
We have to continue to provide Ukraine with the weapons they need to continue to fight and we have to get all the detail so this could be – actual have a war crimes trial.
"This guy is brutal and what's happening in Bucha is outrageous and everyone's seen it.”