Biden says Putin committed ‘genocide halfway around the world’

President Biden on Tuesday declared Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions “genocide”, the first time he has publicly invoked the phrase since Putin began his murderous assault on Ukraine.

Mr. Biden used the phrase during a speech in Iowa about his administration’s efforts to combat high commodity prices. The Ministry of Labor announced the consumer prices rose 8.5% in March over a year ago, the highest jump in four decades. Biden’s White House began declaring price hikes at the gas pump and elsewhere the “Putin price hike,” though the price of gasoline and other essential household expenses rose before Russian forces invade Ukraine.

“I’m doing everything in my power through executive orders to bring prices down and deal with Putin’s price hike,” Biden said. “In fact, we’ve already made progress since collecting inflation data in March. Your family budget, your ability to fuel up, none of that should depend on a dictator declaring war and commit genocide on the other side of the world.”

The president’s formulation goes further than other US officials have said, as Mr. Biden did when he called Putin a war criminal long before the State Department officially declared Russia’s actions to be war crimes. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Putin and Russia of commit genocide.

President Joe Biden speaks, with a pile of cornmeal as a backdrop, at POET Bioprocessing in Menlo, Iowa, Tuesday, April 12, 2022.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

“Indeed, this is genocide – the elimination of the whole nation and people,” Zelenskyy told “Face the Nation” on April 3.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said last week that the United States had “seen war crimes” but that it “did not see a level of systematic deprivation of the lives of the Ukrainian people. reach the level of genocide”.

The United Nations broadly defines genocide as the act of seriously injuring or killing members of a group with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group. It’s unclear if Tuesday’s genocide line was scripted or if the president added it himself.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday she had nothing to confirm about unconfirmed reports that Russia used chemical weapons in Mariupol.

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