On Tuesday, the United States President Joe Biden decried Russian troops’ actions in Ukraine as genocide; he was delivering a speech in Iowa. His allegation marked the first time he used the term to describe Russian behavior since it first attacked Ukraine over a month ago. Moreover, the president told reporters that ye called the Russian aggression as genocide because it became clearer that the Russian president is trying to eradicate the idea of being able to be Ukrainian, and the evidence is growing.
Joe Biden called Russian attacks in Ukraine a genocide during a Tuesday speech in Iowa. Biden used the term to describe Russian behavior since it first attacked Ukraine over a month ago. However, he defended using the word “genocide” by saying that Putin targets Ukrainians. pic.twitter.com/j5IuSr5WTo
— Live News Now (@LiveNewsNow6) April 13, 2022
The U.S. president repeatedly called Russian leader Vladimir Putin a war criminal, but yesterday marked the first time he accused the country of committing genocide in Ukraine. in recent days, Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, and Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser both stopped short of describing the Russian attack as a genocide. Last week, Sullivan told reporters that the world witnessed war crimes, but it has not seen a level of systematic denial of life of the Ukrainian people to rise to the genocide level.
Ukrainian President Praised Biden’s Remarks
Soon after Biden’s remarks, Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Ukraine, praised the U.S. president’s remarks in a tweet and called them true words of a true leader and claimed that calling things by their name is necessary to stand up to evil. Under global law, genocide intends to destroy – in whole or in part – a racial, national, ethnic, or religious group.
True words of a true leader @POTUS. Calling things by their names is essential to stand up to evil. We are grateful for US assistance provided so far and we urgently need more heavy weapons to prevent further Russian atrocities.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) April 12, 2022
According to the United Nations convention, genocide includes killings, inflicting deadly conditions, mental or severe bodily harm, and measures to prevent births, among other means. President Biden made many statements about the war that American officials later had to walk back. Biden stimulated controversy on a recent tour to Poland when he ad-libbed a line at his speech end and said that the Russian leader should not be allowed to remain in power.
However, the White House clarified that United States policy did not seek regime change. Since the Cold War ended, the U.S. State Department officially used the term seven times. Biden’s remarks come some days after Ukraine blamed the Russian military for attacking a train station in Kramatorsk, killing over fifty people, and as images of dead bodies on the streets of Bucha near the capital, Kyiv, continue to draw international condemnation.
Previously, Zelensky said that killings committed in Bucha and other parts near Kyiv constitute genocide. Some European leaders also imposed the charge against Russia, which denied targeting civilians in its attack. However, in line with longstanding protocol, the Biden government stopped short of using the term genocide because of its strictly legal definition and the severe allegation the accusation carries.
Furthermore, the U.S. State Department said last month that it determined that some Russian troops committed war crimes in Ukraine. Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State, said at that time that there had been several reliable reports of undiscriminating invasions and attacks to target civilians since Russian aggression started in late February.