US President Joe Biden on Wednesday accused Russia of targeting civilians in the war in Ukraine, but stopped short of accusing Russian troops of war crimes.

Responding on a question on whether Russia was attacking civilians, Biden said, “It’s clear they are.”

However, when the President was asked whether he believed Russia was committing war crimes, he said, “We are following it very closely. It’s too early to say that.”

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The 79-year-old went on to say the banning of Russian oil exports was also being considered as a punitive measure against Moscow, saying, “Nothing is off the table.”

Biden’s accusation against Russia comes on a day when similar accusations were levelled at Russian forces in a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session.

In the session, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield urged UN member states to take swift action against Russia and accused Moscow of authorising the use of banned weapons in Ukraine.

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“We have seen videos of Russian forces moving exceptionally lethal weaponry into Ukraine, which has no place on the battlefield. That includes cluster munitions and vacuum bombs – which are banned under the Geneva Convention,” Thomas-Greenfield told diplomats from attendee nations.

“We have seen the 40-mile-long lethal convoy charging toward Kyiv. President Putin continues to escalate – putting Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert, threatening to invade Finland and Sweden,” she added.

“At every step of the way, Russia has betrayed the United Nations. Russia’s actions go against everything this body stands for,” Thomas-Greenfield went on.

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“The truth is that this war was one man’s choice and one man alone: President Putin. It was his choice to force hundreds of thousands of people to stuff their lives into backpacks and flee the country. To send newborn babies into makeshift bomb shelters. To make children with cancer huddle in hospital basements, interrupting their treatments, essentially sentencing them to death. Those were President Putin’s choices. Now it is time to make ours,” she further said, highlighting the human cost of the Russian President’s actions.