Trump Claims Current Developments in Ukraine a 'Genocide'
On Wednesday, the Kremlin underscored that it “categorically” disagrees with US President Joe Biden’s “genocide” accusations against Russia, reminding Washington of actual war crimes previously committed by American forces. The diplomatic showdown took place amid Russia’s ongoing special military operation to "demilitarise and de-Nazify" Ukraine.
Former president Donald Trump has described the current events in Ukraine as genocide, mirroring recent remarks on the issue made by Joe Biden.
While slamming the US president for policies that purportedly led to record high inflation in an interview with Fox News on Wednesday, Trump said, “and now add to that what’s going on in Ukraine. That’s a genocide”.
The claims followed French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen echoing the country's President Emmanuel Macron
by refusing to call the current developments in Ukraine "genocide".
In an interview with the TV channel France 2, the leader of the right-wing party National Rally said that de jure, genocide is an “extremely clear definition” that does not correspond to the currently known facts surrounding the situation in Ukraine.
She spoke after Macron insisted people should tread carefully when using genocide-related terminology, especially regarding the Ukraine conflict.
“I would be discreet with terms today [...] Russians and Ukrainians are fraternal peoples. What is happening is madness, this is a return to war in Europe; but, at the same time, I am looking at the facts, I want to try as much as possible to stop this war and restore peace,” the French president told France 2.
This was preceded by Moscow berating Biden for his use of the word “genocide” to describe Russia’s actions in Ukraine, and accusing Washington of hypocrisy regarding its own crimes.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia “categorically” disagrees and considers “unacceptable any attempt to distort the situation in this way”.
“This is hardly acceptable from a president of the United States, a country that has committed well-known crimes in recent times,” Peskov added.
During a speech on Tuesday, Biden called the current events in Ukraine a “genocide”, telling reporters shortly after that he used the term “because it’s become clearer and clearer that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is just trying to wipe out even the idea of being Ukrainian”.
When asked if Biden’s claims reflect the wider view of the US government, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that there has been no legal determination on whether genocide has been committed by Russia in Ukraine. Price added that it will be the “task of international lawyers to determine whether what we're seeing meets that legal threshold of genocide”.
Russia's Special Op in Ukraine
Russia launched the special operation to "demilitarise and de-Nazify" Ukraine on 24 February, after the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics
(DPR and LPR) appealed for help in defending themselves against intensifying attacks by the Kiev forces. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the goal is to protect the people of Donbass, “who have been subjected to abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years”.
The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said that only Ukrainian military infrastructure is being targeted during the operation and that civilians are not in danger. Right now, Russian troops focus on liberating Donbass following the successful completion of the operation’s first stage, according to the MoD.