Moscow has today accused Joe Biden of hurling ‘personal insults’ at Vladimir Putin fueled by ‘irritation, fatigue and forgetfulness,’ after the President called the Russian leader a ‘murderous dictator’ and a ‘thug’ over his brutal invasion of Ukraine.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov also accused Ukraine of trying to drag out peace talks, saying that Russia’s delegation was showing readiness to work faster than the Ukrainian side.
Biden has ramped up his attacks on the Russian leader in recent days, after the Russian leader last month sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine.
Putin has called the invasion a ‘special operation’ to degrade its military capabilities and root out people he called dangerous nationalists, with Moscow insisting it was not targeting civilian sites. Reports, photographs and videos prove otherwise.
Moscow has today accused Joe Biden of hurling ‘personal insults’ at Vladimir Putin fueled by ‘irritation, fatigue and forgetfulness,’ after the President called the Russian leader (pictured last week) a ‘murderous dictator’ and a ‘thug’ over his brutal invasion of Ukraine
‘We hear and see statements that are actually personal insults to President Putin,’ Peskov told reporters.
‘Given such irritability from Mr Biden, his fatigue and sometimes forgetfulness… fatigue that leads to aggressive statements, we will not make harsh assessments, so as not to cause more aggression.’
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also railed against the United States on Friday, accusing the country of acting like a ‘global sheriff’.
Lavrov said Russia has lost all illusions about relying on the West and Moscow will never accept a view of the world dominated by a United States.
In the same speech, Lavrov also threatened countries sending arms to Ukraine, saying Russia could consider all transporters brining weapons military targets.
Western nations have imposed sweeping sanctions across Russia’s financial and corporate sectors in response to the invasion, plunging Russia’s economy into its gravest crisis since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.
Lavrov, President Vladimir Putin’s foreign minister since 2004, said the West’s reaction to what Moscow has called a ‘special military operation’ had illustrated that the West was completely dominated by the United States and that the European Union was largely powerless.
‘If there was any illusion that we could one day rely on our Western partners, this illusion is no longer there,’ Lavrov told Russian state-funded RT in English.
Russia would look eastwards, he said.
‘What the Americans want is a unipolar world which would not be like a global village but like an American village – or maybe like a saloon where you know the strongest calls the shots,’ Lavrov said.
He added that many countries such as China, India and Brazil did not want to be ordered around by ‘Uncle Sam’ acting like a sheriff.
The pair’s attack came after Biden yesterday turned up the heat of his anti-Putin rhetoric, calling the Russian strongman a ‘murderous dictator, a pure thug who is waging an immoral war against the people of Ukraine’.
‘And Putin is paying a big price for his aggression, and they are part of the reason the cost is going so high,’ Biden added, in reference to sanctions placed on Russia.
The comments came during Biden’s St Patrick’s Day speech on Thursday, and a day after he called Putin a war criminal – which also enraged Moscow.
Ukrainian forces have mounted stiff resistance against Russian forces and the West has imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow in an effort to force it to withdraw.
Biden yesterday turned up the heat of his anti-Putin rhetoric, calling the Russian strongman a ‘murderous dictator, a pure thug who is waging an immoral war against the people of Ukraine’. Pictured: President Biden gives a St. Patrick’s day speech at the White House on Thursday
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov (left) accused Joe Biden of hurling ‘personal insults’ at Vladimir Putin fueled by ‘irritation, fatigue and forgetfulness’. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (right) also railed against the United States on Friday, accusing the country of acting like a ‘global sheriff’
So far, peace talks have made little progress. Putin’s forces have continued to take heavy losses while launching seemingly indiscriminate artillery strikes on Ukraine’s cities – killing and injuring thousands. Over 100 children have so far been killed.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday backed Biden’s assessment that Putin’s armed forces were committing war crimes.
He confirmed that another American citizen had been killed in the country and also warned China not to come to Russia’s aid.
‘Yesterday, President Biden said that in his opinion, war crimes have been committed in Ukraine,’ he said. ‘Personally, I agree. Intentionally targeting civilians is a war crime.
‘After all the destruction of the past three weeks, I find it difficult to conclude that the Russians are doing otherwise.’
U.S. officials had avoided the ‘war crimes’ designation until Wednesday.
They said a complex legal process was under way to ascertain whether civilians were being targeted deliberately.
That changed when Biden was asked for his opinion by reporters at the White House.
‘I think he is a war criminal,’ the president said.
Civilian casualties have been mounting in Ukraine.
The United Nations says that so far it has recorded 780 killed and 1,252 injured, although it estimates actual casualties are much higher.
It says that most of the civilian casualties were due to explosive weapons with a wide impact area, such as heavy artillery and multiple-launch rocket systems as well as missile and air strikes.
Ukrainian officials say thousands of civilians have been killed.
The World Health Organization has verified 43 attacks on hospitals and health facilities, with 12 people killed and 34 injured, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the United Nations Security Council Thursday.
Rescuers work next to a residential building damaged by shelling, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine, in this handout picture released March 18, 2022
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said today he was thankful to Biden for the additional military aid, but said he would not say specifically what the new package included because he didn’t want to tip off Russia.
‘This is our defense,’ he said in his night-time video address to the nation. ‘When the enemy doesn’t know what to expect from us.
‘As they didn’t know what awaited them after Feb. 24,’ the day Russia invaded. ‘They didn’t know what we had for defense or how we prepared to meet the blow.’
Zelenskyy said Russia expected to find Ukraine much as it did in 2014, when it seized Crimea without a fight and backed separatists as they took control of the eastern Donbas region.
But Ukraine is now a different country, with much stronger defenses, he said.
He said it also was not the time to reveal Ukraine’s tactics in the ongoing negotiations with Russia. ‘Working more in silence than on television, radio or on Facebook,’ Zelenskyy said. ‘I consider it the right way.’
Yesterday, a top US defense official warned that Putin will edge closer to deploying a nuclear attack if Ukraine continues its valiant pushback against the invasion of Russian troops.
Lieutenant General Scott Berrier, director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency detailed the grim concerns in a new 67-page summary of global threats on Thursday.
It raises the specter of a possible nuclear attack on Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital which has so-far resisted Russian advances, and said a desperate Putin posed a threat to the whole world.
People look at damaged residential buildings in the aftermath of a morning shelling in the Podilskyi district of Kyiv (Kiev), Ukraine, 18 March 2022. At least one person was reportedly killed and 19 others were injured
His report notes that Russia claims to be developing missiles that are capable of circumventing Western defenses in order to ‘ensure that Russia can credibly inflict unacceptable damage on the West.’
Russia recently deployed non-nuclear missiles that come equipped with decoy projectiles – a feature that hadn’t previously been seen by western defense bosses – giving a possible glimpse of the type of feature that could be fitted to the most devastating bombs in Putin’s arsenal.
‘As this war and its consequences slowly weaken Russian conventional strength, Russia likely will increasingly rely on its nuclear deterrent to signal the West and project strength to its internal and external audiences,’ he wrote in the report that was obtained by Fox News.
The report’s grim assessment comes less than 24 hours before a Friday call between President Joe Biden and China’s President Xi Jinping, as Biden is expected to ask for Xi’s help on pressuring Moscow to end the conflict.
Also on Friday, Putin accused Ukrainian authorities of stalling peace talks, but added that Moscow was ready to search for solutions as he spoke with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
‘It was noted that the Kyiv regime is trying in every possible way to stall negotiations, putting forward more and more unrealistic proposals,’ the Kremlin said after the phone call.
‘Nevertheless, the Russian side is ready to continue to search for solutions in line with its well-known principled approaches.’
Putin’s spokesman Peskov called the phone talks between Putin and Scholz ‘tough’ but added that such contacts were still needed.
Peskov said it was still early to talk about an agreement that Russian and Ukrainian negotiators could sign.
‘I can only state that the Russian delegation is showing a willingness to work much faster than it is doing now,’ he told reporters.
‘Unfortunately, the Ukrainian delegation is not ready to accelerate the pace of talks.’
In talks with Scholz, Putin also stressed that Russian troops were ‘doing their best’ to save civilians including through safe corridors, the Kremlin said, adding that some 43,000 people had been evacuated from the southeastern city of Mariupol on Thursday.
Putin will also speak by phone with French President Emmanuel Macron Friday evening, Peskov said.
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