President Joe Biden on Monday called for a war crimes trial against Russia President Vladimir Putin and said he’d seek more sanctions after reported atrocities in Ukraine.
“You saw what happened in Bucha,” Biden said quoted by AP. He added that Putin “is a war criminal.”
Biden’s comments to reporters came after Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited Bucha, one of the towns surrounding Kyiv where Ukrainian officials say the bodies of civilians have been found. Zelenskyy called the Russian actions “genocide” and called for the West to apply tougher sanctions against Russia.
Biden, however, stopped short of calling the actions genocide.
The bodies of 410 civilians have been removed from Kyiv-area towns that were recently retaken from Russian forces, Ukraine’s prosecutor-general, Iryna Venediktova, said. Associated Press journalists saw the bodies of at least 21 people in various spots around Bucha, northwest of the capital.
“We have to continue to provide Ukraine with the weapons they need to continue the fight. And we have to gather all the detail so this can be an actual – have a war crimes trial,” Biden said.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted Monday that the European Union will send investigators to Ukraine to help the local prosecutor general “document war crimes.”
A Russian law enforcement agency says it has launched its own investigation into allegations that Ukrainian civilians were massacred in suburbs of Kyiv that were held by Russian troops, focusing on what it calls “false information” about Russian forces.
The Investigative Committee claims Ukrainian authorities made the allegations “with the aim of discrediting Russian troops” and that those involved should be investigated over possible breaches of a new Russian law banning what the government deems to be false information about its forces. /Argumentum.al