President Joe Biden wants additional sanctions imposed on Russia, and is calling for a war crime trial.
“I’m seeking more sanctions. Yes,” Biden told reporters in Washington, DC – upon his return from a weekend at his home in Delaware.
Biden called for a war crime trial, and said that he was treated unfairly when he first called Putin a war criminal in March.
“He is a war criminal. But we have to gather the information. … We have to gather all the details so this can be an actual — have a war crime trial,” Biden said.
Speaking on the recent images released of the violence happening in Bucha, Ukraine, Biden said:
“This guy is brutal, and what’s happening in Bucha is outrageous and everyone’s seen it,” he said.
Biden was asked if he though the actions from Russia could be classed as genocide, Biden replied:
“No, I think it is a war crime.”
According to Reuters, its journalist reported that they had witnessed a mass grave, located at a church in Bucha.
The photos showed the streets of Bucha littered with dead bodies, incinerated cars and war debris. Some had their hands tied behind their backs, before being killed. The bodies also appeared to be civilians, which is a war crime if that was in fact the case.
Russia denies any involvement in the mass graves or any other atrocities that have happened and they are calling for a United Nations Security Council meeting to condemn Ukraine for accusing Russia of war crimes.
Furthermore, Russian officials are accusing Ukrainian soldiers of committing war crimes against their own people.
“Reuters journalists who visited Bucha on Saturday saw bodies lying on the streets of the town, 37 km (23 miles) northwest of the capital Kyiv,” the news agency asserted. “A mass grave at one church was still open, with hands and feet poking through the red clay heaped on top.”
“Reuters could not immediately verify the images. It was not clear if the images disseminated by Maxar were of the same church visited by Reuters journalists on Saturday,” it added.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Dmytro Kuleba has accused Russian forces of “killing civilians while leaving … just because they wanted to kill.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused the Russian government of “genocide” during an interview with CBS’ Face the Nation.
“Indeed, this is genocide. The elimination of the whole nation and the people,” Zelensky said, adding, “We are the citizens of Ukraine and we don’t want to be subdued to the policy of Russian Federation. This is the reason we are being destroyed and exterminated, and this is happening in the Europe of the 21st century. So this is the torture of the whole nation.”
While addressing the Ukrainian people, Zelenskyy called Russian forces “concentrated evil.”
“After what was revealed in Bucha and our other cities the occupiers were expelled from. Hundreds of people were killed. Tortured, executed civilians. Corpses on the streets,” Zelensky announced. “Mined area. Even the bodies of the dead were mined!”
Zelensky then listed several abuses allegedly documented in Kyiv suburbs:
I want every mother of every Russian soldier to see the bodies of the killed people in Bucha, in Irpin, in Hostomel. What did they do? Why were they killed? What did the man who was riding his bicycle down the street do? Why were ordinary civilians in an ordinary peaceful city tortured to death? Why were women strangled after their earrings were ripped out of their ears? How could women be raped and killed in front of children? How could their corpses be desecrated even after death? Why did they crush the bodies of people with tanks?
The Russian government denied any involvement and said the Ukrain’s “video forgeries and various fakes” were an attempt to destroy Moscow’s reputation.
“We categorically reject any accusations. Moreover, we believe that this issue should be discussed at the highest possible level”, spokesman for Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, said following the accusations.
Sputnik, Russia’s state-run outlet added that Peskov claimed the Russian Defense Ministry “revealed signs of video forgeries and various fakes regarding the materials from Bucha.” Sputnik added that other Russian officials claimed that “Ukrainian forces shelled the city after Russian troops had already withdrawn.”
Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov claimed that the Russians were in fact providing humanitarian aid.
“I would like to emphasize with full responsibility that not a single civilian suffered from violence when the town was controlled by the Russian Armed Forces,” Antonov said, Russian news agency Tass reported on Monday. “On the contrary, our troops delivered 452 tonnes of humanitarian aid for civilians.”
“Meanwhile, the fact that the Ukrainian Armed Forces shelled the town of Bucha right after Russian troops had left was deliberately ignored in the US. This is what could have caused civilian casualties. That said, the Kiev regime is clearly trying to blame its atrocities on Russia,” he added.