WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The White House said there will be consequences for Russian President Vladimir Putin, as new evidence of Russian war crimes emerged over the weekend in communities just outside the capitol of Kyiv.
Russian military forces pulled back from the suburbs of the capital of Kyiv. Ukrainian forces found bodies in crushed cars, front yards and mass graves.
President Joe Biden said Putin should face a war crimes trial.
“He is a war criminal,” Biden said. “This guy is brutal.”
On Capitol Hill, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., called for more economic sanctions to stop the money that’s paying for Putin’s violent rampage.
“It’s gut wrenching,” Blumenthal said. “The banks that process his oil and gas revenue have no sanctions, they’re the ones who need to be sanctioned.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said it’s time the U.S. and NATO up the ante.
“This is a turning point for me, I think this should be a turning point for the world,” Graham said. “Putin is not a legitimate leader, he needs to be considered a pariah. He should be kicked out of the UN.”
The president of Ukraine is calling the killings an act of genocide. Biden stopped short of using that term Monday, but he promised swift action.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Monday said more sanctions are on the way this week and promised more military aid to Ukraine as Russia ramps up attacks in other parts of the country.
“To raise the pressure and raise the cost on Putin and on Russia,” Sullivan said. “We should be under no illusions that Russia will adjust its tactics.”
Sullivan said the recent actions are a shock but not a surprise. He argued the killing of civilians was always part of Putin’s plans.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba warned the new evidence is only a glimpse of the carnage, saying it’s “just the tip of the iceberg.”
The Russian government continues to deny allegations that their forces are targeting Ukrainian civilians.
The Biden administration said it will work with allies to determine what next steps should be taken to hold Putin accountable for war crimes on the world’s stage.