US President Joe Biden on Wednesday went on to say that his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, who is leading the invasion in Ukraine, is a war criminal. The Democrat’s  statement during a White House event is  by far the sharpest condemnation yet of Putin and Moscow’s actions by a US official since the attack of Kyiv.

A reported at the White House asked Biden that ‘after everything we’ve seen, are you ready to call Putin a war criminal?’ The President’s initial response was ‘No’. 

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However, when a Fox News reported asked if the US President will travel to Poland where more than two million Ukrainian refugees have fled since Russia attacked, he said, “Did you ask me whether I should call? Oh, I think he is a war criminal.”

While other world leaders have used the words, the White House had been hesitant to declare Putin’s actions those of a war criminal, saying it was a legal term that required research.

“Biden’s comments on Putin are unacceptable and unforgivable,” Kremlin said. 

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On Tuesday, the US Senate unanimously passed a resolution condemning Putin as a war criminal. Introduced by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, the resolution urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to target the Russian military in any investigation of war crimes committed during it’s invasion of Ukraine. 

“All of us in this chamber joined together, with Democrats and Republicans, to say that Vladimir Putin cannot escape accountability for the atrocities committed against the Ukrainian people,” Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a speech on the Senate floor ahead of the vote.

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Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy, in an interview with ABC News, said that ‘all soldiers who were shooting—they are all war criminals’. 

Zelenskyy summoned the memory of Pearl Harbor and the September 11, 2001, terror attacks in appealing Wednesday to the U.S. Congress to do more to help Ukraine’s fight against Russia. President Joe Biden said the U.S. is sending more anti-aircraft, anti-armor weapons and drones.