For the first time, US President Joe Biden compared Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to genocide, while Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to carry out his operation “rhythmically and calmly.”
President Joe Biden told reporters on Tuesday that “Yes, I called it genocide because it has become increasingly clear that Putin is basically attempting to wipe away the notion of being Ukrainian and the evidence is piling.”
The president has often labelled Putin a war criminal, but in a previous address in Iowa, the US president increased his rhetoric to accuse Russia of genocide.
“We’ll leave it up to the international legal experts, but it appears to me that it does.”
Russia has consistently denied targeting civilians when accused of war crimes.
Several cities in the north of Ukraine, from which Russia has withdrawn, were strewn with the remains of those who had been slaughtered in what Kiev claims was a campaign of murder, torture, and rape against civilians.
It was reported by Interfax Ukraine on Wednesday that 720 bodies had been recovered in the city’s vicinity, with more than 200 persons still unaccounted for.
In an effort to demilitarise and “denazify” Ukraine, the Kremlin announced on Feb. 24 that it had begun a “special military operation.” This has been rejected as a sham by Kiev and its Western friends.
4.6 million people have fled Moscow’s nearly seven-week assault, Europe’s worst offensive since 1945, killing or injuring thousands and further isolating Russia from the rest of the globe.
“I am certain that our objectives, including security, will be realised,” Putin said in his first public comments on the crisis in more than a week on Tuesday.
In an early morning address on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy criticised Putin, saying, “How could a strategy that allows for the killing of tens of thousands of their own soldiers in little more than a month of battle come about?”
According to Putin, the intermittent peace talks “have again reverted to a dead end position for us.”
Since Russia’s pullout from northern Ukraine two weeks ago, Putin, who had been omnipresent on Russian television in the early days of the war, has mostly disappeared from public view.