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Biden urges Putin war crimes trial after Bucha killings

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US President Joe Biden on Monday accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of war crimes and called for a trial, adding to the global outcry over civilian killings in the Ukrainian town of Bucha as more graphic images of their deaths emerged.

“You saw what happened in Bucha,” Biden told reporters at the White House. “This warrants him - he is a war criminal.”

The discovery of a mass grave and tied bodies shot at close range in Bucha, outside Kyiv, a town Ukrainian forces reclaimed from Russian troops, looked set to galvanize the United States and Europe into imposing additional sanctions against Moscow.

“We have to gather the information. We have to continue to provide Ukraine with the weapons they need to continue the fight. And we have to get all the detail so this can be an actual, have a war crimes trial,” Biden said.

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Putin “is brutal. And what's happening in Bucha is outrageous, and everyone's seen it,” Biden said as his United Nations envoy announced Washington would seek Russia's suspension from the UN Human Rights Council.

The Kremlin categorically denied any accusations related to the murder of civilians, including in Bucha, where it said the graves and corpses had been staged by Ukraine to tarnish Russia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called the killings “genocide” in a speech from Bucha on Monday as journalists entered the city and documented its destruction.

US defense officials said the Pentagon could not independently confirm the atrocities.

Biden previously called Putin a war criminal following Moscow's Feb. 24 invasion of its neighbor - words the Kremlin has said further damaged US-Russian ties. The US Senate called Putin a war criminal in a resolution last month.

Citing what he called “horrifying” images, Jim Risch, the leading Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said in a statement: “The international community must also take concrete steps to hold Putin and his cronies accountable for their war crimes.”

Democrat Bob Menendez, committee chairman, said: “Putin must be held accountable for this tragic and barbaric assault on innocent civilians.”

Read more:

Pentagon can’t ‘independently’ confirm images out of Ukraine’s Bucha: US official

US pushes to suspend Russia from Human Rights Council

Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy visits Bucha where dozens of corpses were found

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