The Kremlin says it's 'unacceptable and unforgivable' for Biden to call Putin a 'war criminal'

Vladimir Putin, Joe Biden
Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images, Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
  • The Kremlin on Wednesday pushed back on Biden's characterization of Putin as a "war criminal."

  • Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Biden's rhetoric is "unacceptable and unforgivable."

  • Biden's comments marks his harshest condemnation yet of the Russian leader.

President Joe Biden on Wednesday called Russian President Vladimir Putin "a war criminal," prompting a heated response from the Russian government.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called Biden's comments "unacceptable and unforgivable rhetoric on the part of the head of a state whose bombs have killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world," according to Russian state news agency TASS.

Last week, Biden said it was "too early to say" whether Putin had committed war crimes, but he told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon that Putin is "a war criminal."

The statement marks Biden's harshest condemnation of Putin since Russia invaded Ukraine three weeks ago. The Biden administration had previously not characterized Russia's invasion of Ukraine as a war crime due to ongoing investigations.

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The Russian military has killed hundreds of Ukrainian civilians and attacked hospitals, schools, and residential buildings, among other civilian targets, prompting human rights groups and world leaders to accuse Putin's regime of committing war crimes. A war crime is a violation of the laws of war as defined by international law and treaties.

Biden doubled down on his criticism of Putin on Thursday, calling the Russian leader's actions "inhumane." The White House has imposed a slew of sanctions against Russia to weaken its economy and Putin's position. The US has also delivered arms to Ukraine, and plans to send more military and humanitarian aid to the country through a recently passed $13.6 billion package.

Biden's comments also came after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gave an emotional address to Congress on Wednesday morning during which he requested more help in the country's fight against Russia.

Read the original article on Business Insider