US President Biden calls Putin ‘war criminal’, Kremlin says ‘such rhetoric unacceptable’

WASHINGTON, Mar 17: Amid escalating war between Russia and Ukraine, on Wednesday (local time) US President Joe Biden called President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal.”

“I think he is a war criminal,” Biden said. Biden initially said “no” when asked whether Putin was a war criminal but returned to a group of reporters immediately to clarify what had been asked. When asked again whether Putin was a war criminal, he answered in the affirmative, reported Sputnik.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday that US President Joe Biden’s remarks on Russian President Vladimir Putin speak for themselves.
“The President’s remarks speak for themselves,” Psaki said. “He was speaking from his heart and speaking from what he’s seen on television which is barbaric actions by a brutal dictator through his invasion of a foreign country. There is a legal process that continues to be underway at the State Department.”

Biden’s designation reflects a shift from the administration’s previous stance. Officials, including Biden, had previously stopped short of saying war crimes were being committed in Ukraine, citing ongoing investigations into whether that term could be used, reported CNN.

But officials have been clear they believe atrocities are underway and that the intentional targeting of civilians would constitute war crimes.
Meanwhile, Kremlin considered Biden’s statement on Putin unacceptable as it came from a leader of a country whose bombs “killed thousands of people,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Sputnik

“We consider such rhetoric of the head of state, whose bombs killed hundreds of thousands of people all over the world, unacceptable and inexcusable,” said Peskov. (ANI)