Biden Stands Up To Putin In New Remarks Like The World’s Leader

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In a Tuesday speech, President Joe Biden characterized Russian leader Vladimir Putin as guilty of “genocide” via the actions of his troops in Ukraine, and in apparent follow-up comments to reporters, Biden drove home the characterization. Biden remarked as follows, discussing what Putin is doing:

‘I called it genocide because it’s become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out the idea of even being able to be a Ukrainian. The evidence is mounting. It’s different than it was last week. More evidence is coming out of the — literally the horrible things that the Russians have done in Ukraine. And we’re going to only learn more and more about the devastation. We’ll let the lawyers decide, internationally, whether or not it qualifies [as genocide], but it sure seems that way to me.’

Check out Biden’s remarks below:

In his speech, the president told listeners, “Your family budget, your ability to fill up your tank, none of it should hinge on whether a dictator declares war and commits genocide half a world away.” There’s been substantial strain on gas prices amid the expanding conflict in Ukraine, although average prices have recently somewhat decreased, according to numbers from AAA. As of Wednesday, April 13, the national average price for regular gallons of gas was $4.083 — and the average from a month prior was $4.325, according to AAA. Biden and his administration have pushed back on the argument that it’s federal policies at least partly to blame for high gas prices. Thousands of unused drilling leases for federal lands are out there, White House press secretary Jen Psaki has noted, and besides: most drilling doesn’t take place on federally owned property. (The Biden administration halted the issuance of new drilling permits for such areas.)

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy took note of Biden’s description of Russian actions in Ukraine as genocide, which is a characterization Zelenskyy himself already used. “True words of a true leader @POTUS,” Zelenskyy posted on Twitter, referencing the U.S. president’s remarks. “Calling things by their names is essential to stand up to evil. We are grateful for US assistance provided so far and we urgently need more heavy weapons to prevent further Russian atrocities.” Biden’s administration was recently reported to be preparing an additional cache of around $750 million worth of various weapons for the Ukrainian defense, including items like drones and gear that protects against chemical attacks, among other items. (UPDATE: It ended up at $800 million.) Billions in defense assistance for Ukraine has already gone out from the United States, helping support what’s been a resolute Ukrainian defense against Russian aggression. Ukrainian forces held back Russian troops from taking Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, although fighting is continuing, with Putin’s forces further focusing their violence in eastern and southern parts of Ukraine.