Biden calls Russian leader Vladimir Putin ‘a war criminal’

Published 2:34 pm Wednesday, March 16, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Wednesday called Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal as the atrocities in Ukraine mount and the president begged the U.S. Congress for more help.

“He’s a war criminal,” the president said of Putin as he left an unrelated event. It’s the sharpest condemnation yet of Putin and Russian actions by a U.S. official since the invasion of Ukraine.

While other world leaders have used the words, the White House had been hesitant to declare Putin’s actions those of a war criminal, saying it was a legal term that required research.

But in a speech Wednesday, Biden said Russian troops had bombed hospitals and held doctors hostage. He pledged more aid to help Ukraine fight Russia.
els, Jill Lawless in London, Aritz Parra in Madrid and videojournalist Rick Gentilo contributed to this report.