Biden calls for war-crimes trial of Putin after mass graves found around Ukraine capital


Russian leader Vladimir Putin faced mounting global condemnation Monday, with President Biden and a growing number of world leaders calling for a war-crimes trial, following the discovery in Ukraine of mass graves and streets littered with the bodies of civilians around the suburbs of Kyiv.

“This guy is brutal, and what’s happening in Bucha is outrageous,” Biden told reporters, referring to a town near Kyiv where numerous civilians were found dead, some bearing marks of torture or execution. The Ukrainian government said it has counted more than 400 civilian deaths so far in the suburbs of the capital city.

Biden previously branded Putin a “war criminal” in remarks March 17, but at that time the White House said he was speaking personally and not outlining a formal U.S. position. Six days later, the U.S. formally accused Russia of war crimes and said it was collecting evidence to help prove it.

“He is a war criminal,” Biden said of Putin on Monday. “But we have to gather information, we have to continue to provide Ukraine with the weapons they need to continue to fight.”

As Russian forces pulled back from the suburbs of Kyiv and the northeastern city of Chernihiv, they continued to strike the southern coastal cities of Mykolaiv and Odesa with rocket fire while they shifted their offensive operations to Ukraine’s east.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the charred rubble in Bucha on Monday as armed guards surrounded him. The president called on the media to come to the city to “show the world what happened here.”

Zelensky has described the scenes in Bucha, where photos and videos show mass graves and dead men and women face down on residential roads, as evidence of Russian “genocide” against Ukrainians. More than 300 were killed, he said.


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