Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was quick to back Joe Biden’s Tuesday remarks which labeled what Putin is doing inside Ukraine as “genocide”. Biden had followed his use of the label for the first time, which marks a serious escalation in the United States’ rhetoric by explaining, “It’s become clearer and clearer that Putin is trying to wipe out the idea of being Ukrainian.”
Zelensky then said on Twitter: “Calling things by their names is essential to stand up to evil,” and made clear he agrees with the definition: “We are grateful for U.S. assistance provided so far and we urgently need more heavy weapons to prevent further Russian atrocities.”
The Kremlin has responded, on Wednesday calling the genocide label “unacceptable” and a distortion of the conflict, which the Kremlin has previously described as a battle against NATO expansion imminently threatening Russia’s legitimate security interests.
“We consider this kind of effort to distort the situation unacceptable,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov responded, according to Reuters. He emphasized the hypocrisy of a US military machine which has committed “well-known crimes” in the recent past.
“This is hardly acceptable from a president of the United States, a country that has committed well-known crimes in recent times,” Peskov described.