Biden plans new sanctions on Russia after reports of mass killings in Bucha

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said Monday he is seeking additional sanctions against Russia and again called President Vladimir Putin a war criminal after reports of a mass killing of civilians by Russian forces in the Ukrainian city of Bucha.

“You may recall that I was criticized for calling Putin a war criminal,” Biden said in brief remarks to reporters. “Well, to tell the truth, you saw what happened in Bucha. That justifies him – he’s a war criminal.”

“This guy is brutal and what is happening in Bucha is outrageous and everyone saw it,” he added.

Biden said the United States would continue to collect information to support war crimes charges against Putin. He said the US was also working on additional sanctions and would continue to supply arms to Ukraine.

Biden’s comment came in response to reports of atrocities committed by Ukrainians over the weekend in the town of Bucha, near Kyiv, where grisly images allegedly show civilians killed across the city, including some apparently shot with them at close range hands behind the back.

Ukrainian officials said more than 400 people were killed before Russian troops pulled out of the city. The Associated Press reported scenes of bodies scattered at a site local residents said Russian troops were using as a base, with civilian-clothed victims who appeared to have been killed at close range, with at least two carrying on their backs tied hands.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, said it was considering additional sanctions against Russia in response to the killings and an investigation by the International Criminal Court. French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday there was “strong evidence” that Russia was responsible for the killings of civilians in Bucha, adding that it was “strong evidence of war crimes”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged the international community to take stronger measures after the reports from Bucha, saying new sanctions would not be enough.

The Russian Defense Ministry has dismissed the claims, calling them a “provocation” and dismissing photos and videos showing damaged city streets strewn with bodies. Biden plans new sanctions on Russia after reports of mass killings in Bucha

Caroline Bleakley

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