President Joe Biden on Monday called for a war crimes trial against Russian President Vladimir Putin following revelations of civilian massacres in Bucha, a suburb of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
“You may remember I got criticized for calling Putin a war criminal,” Biden told reporters as he arrived back at the White House from Delaware, where he spent the weekend. “Well the truth of the matter is, you saw what happened in Bucha. This warrants him — he is a war criminal. But we have to gather the information.”
He then called for the continued supply of lethal military aid to the country.
“We have to continue to provide Ukraine with the weapons they need to continue the fight,” he said. “And we have to gather all the details, so this could be an actual — have a war crime trial.”
“This guy is brutal, and what’s happening in Bucha is outrageous, and everyone’s seen it,” he added. Asked by a reporter whether he believed it constituted a genocide, Biden stopped short.
“No, I think it is a war crime,” he said. He also said he’s “seeking more sanctions” against Russia.
“He should be held accountable,” said Biden.
While Biden has previously called Putin a “war criminal,” this is the first time he’s suggested that the Russian leader should face a formal trial.
He also recently drew criticism for declaring that Putin “cannot remain in power,” which said was an expression of his own moral outrage against Russia’s actions in Ukraine. “I make no apologies for it,” said Biden last week.