‘Unacceptable’: Russia ‘disagrees’ with Joe Biden's ‘genocide’ allegation

  • Last month, US President Joe Biden termed his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin a “butcher” and called for his removal from power. A White House official, however, quickly clarified the remark, saying Biden meant Putin "cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbours or the region”.
US President Joe Biden.(Reuters)
US President Joe Biden.(Reuters)
Published on Apr 13, 2022 09:15 PM IST
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Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Aniruddha Dhar, New Delhi

Kremlin on Wednesday "categorically" dismissed US President Joe Biden's allegation of committing "genocide" by Russian troops in Ukraine. According to Biden's Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, his troops are on a "military operation" in Ukraine (since February 24) to protect his people.

“We categorically disagree and consider unacceptable any attempt to distort the situation in this way, especially since it is hardly acceptable for the President of United States,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

He added that the US is a country that has “committed well-known deeds in modern and recent history”.

Also Read | Ukraine is a 'crime scene', says ICC chief prosecutor after visiting Bucha town

On Tuesday, Biden had amounted Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine to “genocide”, and accused Putin of trying to “wipe out the idea of even being a Ukrainian”.

Referring to an earlier event where also he lashed out at Putin for carrying out genocide in Ukraine, Biden told reporters that the claim is becoming “clearer and clearer”.

The US President said that it would be up to lawyers to decide if Russia's conduct in its former Soviet neighbour met the international standard for genocide, but added “it sure seems that way to me”.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron distanced himself from Biden's claim, and said people of Russia and Ukraine are “fraternal”.

“What is happening is madness, this is a return to war in Europe; but, at the same time, I am looking at the facts, I want to try as much as possible to stop this war and restore peace,” Macron told broadcaster France 2.

This is not the first time that Biden has landed himself in hot soup for his comments on Russia or Putin pertaining to the Ukraine war. Last month, the US President termed his Russian counterpart a “butcher” and called for the latter's removal from power.

Speaking in Poland's capital Warsaw, which served as the capstone on his four-day trip to Europe, Biden said, “For God's sake, this man (Putin) cannot remain in power."

A White House official soon after clarified Biden's remark, saying that he only meant Putin “cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbours or the region”.

As far as the war in Ukraine is concerned, Russian defence ministry said earlier in the day that more than 1,000 Ukrainian troops, including women personnel, have surrendered in the besieged southwestern port city of Mariupol.

The nearly two-month long fighting between the two neighbouring countries show little hopes of ceasefire, especially after talks between Moscow and Kyiv negotiators have been halted since the discovery of Bucha killings earlier this month. At least 20 bodies of people in civilian clothes along with hundreds of mass graves were found in Bucha, which Ukraine claimed were war crimes committed by retreating Russian soldiers. The West, including the US and the European Union (EU), have come down heavily on Russia since the discovery by imposing fresh sanctions on Russian coal imports and Putin's two adult daughters, among others.

Moscow, however, has rubbished the allegations, calling them “staged up performance” by Kyiv. On Tuesday, Putin also called Bucha crimes “fake”.

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