Blinken said he believes Russian forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine since February’s invasion.
“We can’t turn a deaf ear to that,” he said. “We can’t normalize this.”
Nor would Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, use the word “genocide” when describing Russia’s behavior during its invasion of Ukraine.
“This is brutality against civilians that we have not seen in Europe for decades,” he said in State of the Union. “And it is appalling and totally unacceptable that civilians are being attacked and killed.”
Stoltenberg pointed out the importance of the International Criminal Court opening investigations into possible war crimes in Ukraine.
However, in an interview recorded for broadcast on CBS’ Face the Nation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called Russia’s actions genocide.
“The elimination of the whole nation and people, we are citizens of Ukraine,” he said. “We have more than 100 nationalities. This is about the annihilation and annihilation of all these nationalities. We are citizens of Ukraine and do not want to submit to the politics of the Russian Federation. That is why we are being destroyed and exterminated. And this is happening in Europe in the 21st century. So this is the torture of the whole nation.”
The statements come as new images and reports continue to show the destruction of Ukrainian society and apparent attacks on civilian homes and buildings.
In his speech on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Blinken addressed the devastation wrought by Putin’s forces in Ukraine. “Although he was thrown back, although I believe that this is already a strategic defeat for Vladimir Putin,” he said, “the death and destruction he causes in Ukraine every day, the images that appear on our TVs and beyond running social media every day is terrible.”
Both leaders also expressed distrust of Russia’s calls for a partial withdrawal.
“What we are seeing is not a true retreat, but a repositioning of his troops,” Stoltenberg said.
“And they take some of them back to arm, reinforce, and resupply.” But in a way we shouldn’t be too optimistic because the attacks will continue and we are also concerned about possible increased attacks in the South and East.”
https://www.politico.com/news/2022/04/03/blinken-stoltenberg-russia-genocide-00022567?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication Blinken and Stoltenberg refrain from calling Russia’s actions “genocide.”