Russia has reacted firmly to US President Joe Biden's remarks on Putin, saying such rhetoric from no less than Biden himself was 'unacceptable and unforgivable'.
New Delhi: Things are getting complex and murkier in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War.
US President Joe Biden kicked off a high profile new row when he made an off-the-cuff remark stating that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a "war criminal".
Of course, the US State Department clarified that was only a remark made by Biden "from his heart," and the legal process for designating someone as a 'war criminal' is certainly long and not done yet.
"The President's remarks speak for themselves. He was speaking for his heart," the State Department spokesperson said.
"There is a legal process that is on the way…and continues to be at the State Department," the State Department spokesperson added.
However, Kremlin could not take it lying down. Russia has reacted firmly, saying such rhetoric from no less than Biden himself was 'unacceptable and unforgivable'.
In fact, Biden remarked in half a sentence – "Do you ask me whether I will call him…. oh I think, he (Putin) is a war criminal."
Biden's accusation came after Ukraine's foreign ministry said that Russian forces dropped a powerful bomb on a theatre in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, leaving many civilians trapped and an unknown number of casualties. Things remain tense and volatile.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov called the US president's statement "unacceptable and unforgivable rhetoric on the part of the head of a state whose bombs have killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world", according to Russian state news agency TASS.
Meanwhile, in yet another gory episode, 21 people have been killed by Russian artillery that destroyed a school and a community centre in Merefa, near the northeast city of Kharkiv. Merefa Mayor Veniamin Sitov said the attack occurred just before dawn on Thursday.
Reports say that the Kharkiv region has seen heavy bombardment as stalled Russian forces try to advance in the area.
There are certain complexities in the entire scenario, especially how NATO and the western powers have reacted to the war.
"The West has just shown that nuclear threats can be used not as a defensive weapon but as an offensive one; not as a tool of containment that deters great powers from starting wars but as a tool of conquest that deters great powers from interfering in wars," says an article in 'The Kyiv Independent'.