Speed Reads

the g word

Biden appears to describe Russian invasion as 'genocide' for the first time

President Biden appeared to refer to Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine as "genocide" during a speech in Iowa on Tuesday.

"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," Biden said, touting his administration's efforts to reduce inflation and bring down the cost of living.

This is the first time Biden has used the term "genocide" to describe Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Last month, he referred to Putin as a "war criminal," an epithet he has since repeated. Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described the invasion as "genocide ... [t]he elimination of the whole nation and people," during an appearance on CBS' Face the Nation.

The United Nations defines genocide as "a crime committed with the intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group, in whole or in part." Crimes can include murder, sterilization, kidnapping of children, and "[d]eliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction."

Putin has repeatedly argued that "Ukrainians and Russians are one people."