Blinken Says Putin Will Be Held Accountable for His “War Crimes”

In some of his strongest words since the war in Ukraine began, Secretary of State Tony Blinken says that Vladimir Putin’s actions cannot be tolerated by the world community and that the US will take the lead to be sure he is held accountable for his “war crimes.”

During a recent TV appearance, Blinken said that the US cannot become “numb” to images of death and destruction in Ukraine, vowing “accountability” for war crimes. 

“You can’t help but see these images as a punch to the gut,” Blinken said on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday. He was reacting to photos out of Bucha, Ukraine, near Kyiv, showing photos of civilian men who were reportedly executed and left on the streets, according to the city’s mayor. 

Blinken said the US is documenting any potential war crimes and vowed “accountability.”

“We’ve said before Russia’s aggression that we thought it was likely that they would commit atrocities. Since the aggression, we’ve come out and said that we believe that Russian forces have committed war crimes. And we’ve been working to document that to provide the information that we have to the relevant institutions and organizations that will put all this together, and there needs to be accountability for it.”

“I think the most important thing is we can’t become numb to this. We can’t normalize this,” Blinken added. 

Host Dana Bash also added that Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that “Russians aim to eliminate as many Ukrainians as they can” and asked Blinken if he sees this as “genocide.”

“We will look hard and document everything that we see, put it all together. Make sure that the relevant institutions and organizations that are looking at this, including the State Department, have everything they need to assess exactly what took place in Ukraine,” Blinken responded. 

Meanwhile, during an almost simultaneous broadcast, on CBS’s competing Sunday show, Face the Nation, Ukraine’s president Zelensky did not hold back in using that word, responding to the events in Bucha as indeed “genocide.”

“This is genocide. We are the citizens of Ukraine, and we don’t want to be subdued to the policy of [the] Russian Federation. This is the reason we are being destroyed and exterminated. And this is happening in the Europe of the 21st century,” Zelensky said.

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