Speed Reads

horrific

Biden doubles down on Putin war criminal claim in wake of Bucha killings: 'This guy is brutal'

President Biden on Monday declined to describe the Russian-led devastation in Bucha, Ukraine as "genocide," opting instead to classify what happened there as war crimes. He also reiterated his claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a "war criminal," and called for him to go on trial, CNBC reports. 

"You may remember I got criticized for calling Putin a war criminal," Biden told reporters. "Well, the truth of the matter — you saw what happened in Bucha. ... He is a war criminal."

"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 gather all the detail" so there can be an "actual" war crime trial, he continued.

"This guy is brutal, and what's happening in Bucha is outrageous," Biden added. When a reporter asked if he would describe the situation as a genocide, the president replied, "No, I think it is a war crime." He said he's also in the process of working out more sanctions to levy on Russia in response.

French President Emmanuel Macron made similar remarks Monday, calling for a European Union ban of Russian oil and coal in the wake of Putin's "war crimes."

While retaking the area surrounding Kyiv over the weekend, Ukrainian troops uncovered an apparent civilian massacre in the suburb of Bucha, per journalists on the ground and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Russia has denied reports it was involved in the atrocities, but Ukraine has pegged Moscow for the crimes.

"We want you to show the world what happened here. What the Russian military did," Zelensky said Monday while visiting the area. "What the Russian Federation did in peaceful Ukraine."