(Trends Wide) — US President Joe Biden on Thursday called Vladimir Putin a “murderous dictator” and “pure thug” in his latest attack on the Russian leader as the war in Ukraine continues.
During the annual Friends of Ireland luncheon on St. Patrick’s Day on Capitol Hill, Biden called Putin “a murderous dictator, a pure thug who is waging an immoral war against the people of Ukraine.”
And hours earlier this Thursday, in a meeting with Micheál Martin, the head of the Irish Government, the US president also focused on the Russian leader and referred to him again. “Putin’s brutality and what he is doing and his troops are doing in Ukraine is just inhumane.”
The comments come a day after Biden called Putin a war criminal. Which represents a significant escalation in his rhetoric condemning Russia’s leader’s actions against Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Thursday that Biden’s comments were “absolutely unacceptable and inexcusable.”
Also this Wednesday, the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, gave an emotional speech before the Congress. Hours later, Biden announced additional military assistance for Kyiv, including weapons and drones, as well as anti-aircraft and anti-armor systems. But he did not mention some of Zelensky’s requests, such as the implementation of a no-fly zone.
Biden praised lawmakers at the lunch Thursday for coming together across partisan divides to pass the Ukraine aid package, which was part of a larger spending bill the president signed into law this week.
In that sense, he pointed out that the group “should have more moments like this, where Democrats and Republicans meet.”
“Actually, not only did we get to agree on one thing, but we were able to remember that we really like each other. It’s kind of helpful,” she said.
Throughout Thursday’s holiday-focused events, Biden emphasized the strength of the relationship between Ireland — which never joined NATO — and the United States. Along these lines, he mentioned over lunch that the relationship was “reaching an even more intense and cooperative forum than ever before due to Ireland’s neutrality.”
Biden added that Ireland is “raising its voice” in the face of Putin’s aggression against Ukraine.
“Ireland and the United States are working together for the first time now,” Biden said. “They are in the United Nations Security Council … and in the European Union. And Putin is paying a high price for his aggression. They are part of the reason the cost is so high.”
“Everybody talks about how Germany stepped up and changed their notions about being more inclined to go further, and they have,” he continued. “Ireland too. A neutral country, Ireland has stepped up, and they (Russia) are taking the hit for what they’re doing.”