On Tuesday, US President Biden accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of committing genocide on Ukraine. He delivered the remarks while speaking at an ethanol fuel plant in Iowa.
There, the President blamed the Russian leader’s decision to invade Ukraine as the reason for high gas prices.
Biden Accuses Putin Of Committing Genocide in Ukraine
The President actually doubled down when reporters clarified his statement. Earlier, the US President blamed Russia’s action for the insane gas prices in America.
“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,” he said.
When reporters asked why Biden would choose to use the word “genocide,” Biden doubled down. “Yes, I called it genocide,” he said. “It has become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out the idea of even being…Ukrainian.”
Evidence Mounting on Russia’s Actions Point to Genocide in Ukraine
In addition, Biden said that there is mounting evidence against Putin and the Russian military. “The — more evidence is coming out of the — literally, the horrible things that the Russians have done in Ukraine.
And we're going to only learn more and more about the devastation,” he said. “And we'll let the lawyers decide internationally whether or not it qualifies, but it sure seems that way to me.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy seemed to agree with Biden’s accusation. He posted his reaction on Twitter, saying that “Calling things by their names is essential to stand up to evil.
We are grateful for US assistance provided so far,” he continued. “And we urgently need more heavy weapons to prevent further Russian atrocities.”
Biden Causes A Stir Over His Blunt Genocide in Ukraine Remarks
Asked about Biden's comments, National Security Council communications adviser Matthew Miller gave his take. He said that Biden never hesitated to call out the atrocities the world is witnessing on the ground.
Many observers see Russia’s actions as committing genocide against Ukraine. Since the war started, Biden “never hesitated… to call things out.”
However, Miller clarified that Biden’s escalated remarks over Putin and Russia did not mean the US is changing its stance. “Nothing is going to change with our response,” Miller told the media.
Instead, the US will continue working with allies to investigate allegations of war crimes. He called the investigation a long-term process.
Biden’s remarks won’t also change the US military’s stance on involvement in Ukraine. A direct US military engagement in Ukraine is still not in the security interests of the US. Otherwise, the conflict could widen.
Historical Take On Genocide
Historically, the US refrains from officially using the word genocide to describe an ongoing situation. The last time the US used “genocide” was last month, when it referred to Myanmar’s actions on its citizens in 2016.
In fact, Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted that it was only the eighth time in history that the US said a genocide occurred.
Either way, the US needs to stay cautious when throwing words like “genocide” when dealing with international events.
The Rome Statute defined genocide in 2002. They are “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”
However, saying Russia is committing genocide in Ukraine is a bit more complicated. Washington University law professor Leila Sadat said she sees “evidence of crimes against humanity and war crimes” by Russian forces. However, determining which acts formally qualifies as genocide “is complex.”
Watch the Associated Press news video reporting that President Joe Biden confirmed his statement on Russia’s actions on Ukraine: ‘Yes I called it genocide'
What do you think of Biden’s blunt statements accusing Putin of committing genocide in Ukraine? Should the US double down on the President’s accusation?
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