On Friday, 10 Were Killed By Shelling In Kharkiv, Cluster Bombs Killed 5 In Mykolaiv And Strikes Continued In The East

On Friday, 10 Were Killed By Shelling In Kharkiv, Cluster Bombs Killed 5 In Mykolaiv And Strikes Continued In The East

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Both comments caught advisers off guard, appearing nowhere in his scripted remarks and going well beyond the official government position. His remark about genocide happened inside an ethanol processing plant in Iowa, standing atop a stage covered in straw.

Like his declaration at Warsaw’s royal castle that Putin “cannot remain in power,” Biden identifying genocide in Ukraine prompted questions about what, if anything, the new rhetoric meant for the grinding conflict.

But unlike with the earlier remark, Biden had been discussing the prospect of genocide in Ukraine for the past week, according to a person familiar with the matter, making his comment less of a shock. And instead of a carefully written statement attributed to an unnamed official, which in Warsaw only led to more questions, Biden made a decision to do the explaining himself.

“We’ll let the lawyers decide internationally whether or not it qualifies,” he said on the tarmac of Des Moines International Airport as he got ready to board Air Force One, “but it sure seems that way to me.”

As Biden confronts a war officials believe could go on for months, he is navigating both the weight of the presidency and its confines. His words are closely parsed for official meaning, even when they are ad-libbed, leading to worries about escalating the crisis.

At the same time, his impulse to visit Ukraine and witness the situation firsthand has been hampered by the bubble that accompanies him everywhere. And domestic concerns are pulling him in other directions, his remit extending well beyond a foreign war — leading to sometimes-discordant scenarios like declaring genocide inside a biofuel plant, bits of corn dust floating from above.

The dynamic has sometimes created tensions for a President whose response to the conflict has been at times deeply emotional and whose decades of experience in international relations — at the lower levels of senator and vice president — are informing his thinking.

His comment about genocide raised concerns among certain officials that he was getting ahead of the administration’s legal process, and it could be viewed as applying pressure on the officials currently working to make an official determination, according to people familiar with the response. Only a week before he spoke, Biden’s top national security official said the conditions hadn’t been met to call it a genocide, and the State Department has not said yet whether it has found evidence to change that position.

While viewing scenes of atrocities that emerged over the past week, Biden had privately suggested they could be evidence of genocide, according to the person familiar with the matter. Yet that hadn’t been made official by his administration when he labeled it a genocide in public.

It was the latest example of Biden’s long-held political traits of straight talk and empathy being tested in his new, elevated role. His allies and advisers say those characteristics act as a clarifying force for a mostly united Western alliance. And Biden has said privately there is little time to waste in calling out Putin’s actions for what they clearly are.

But some have questioned his impulses and wonder whether a more disciplined approach might work better.

After he said in Iowa it was becoming “clearer and clearer” that genocide was underway in Ukraine, French President Emmanuel Macron raised concerns the escalatory language could hamper attempts at negotiating a settlement to the violence.

“I want to continue to try, as much as I can, to stop this war and rebuild peace. I am not sure that an escalation of rhetoric serves that cause,” Macron said. He had similarly warned against escalation after Biden’s comment in Warsaw that Putin should no longer be in power.

Other world leaders welcomed Biden’s candor. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he thought i

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On Friday, 10 were killed by shelling in Kharkiv, cluster bombs killed 5 in Mykolaiv and strikes continued in the east

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