The US president initially refused to use the term, but then reconsidered
© AP / Patrick Semansky
US President Joe Biden has called his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin “a war criminal” over the conflict in Ukraine, with the Kremlin responding that such remarks from the United States are “unacceptable and unforgivable.”
During a White House event on Wednesday, Biden was asked by one of the reporters if he considered Russia’s president a war criminal. Initially, Biden answered “no,” but then he asked the journalist to clarify the question and said: “Oh I think he is a war criminal.”
Commenting on the American leader’s remarks, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told TASS that Moscow considers “unacceptable and unforgivable such rhetoric from the head of state, whose bombs killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world.”
While the US has consistently condemned Russia’s attack on Ukraine, Biden’s remarks on Wednesday apparently mark the first time the American leader used a term as strong as “war criminal” to describe Putin’s actions. Previously, the White House avoided using this definition, explaining that it was a specific legal term.