Joe Biden

Remarks in an Exchange With Reporters in Des Moines, Iowa

April 12, 2022

The President's Use of the Word "Genocide" To Describe Russia's Actions in Ukraine

Q. Mr. President, what made you use the word "genocide" today?

Q. Mr. President, have you seen enough evidence to declare genocide in Ukraine, sir?

The President. Yes, I called it genocide because it's become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out the idea of even being able to be a Ukrainian.

And the mount—the evidence is mounting. It's different than it was last week. The—more evidence is coming out of the—literally, the horrible things that the Russians have done in Ukraine. And we're going to only learn more and more about the devastation.

And we'll let the lawyers decide internationally whether or not it qualifies, but it sure seems that way to me.

Thank you.

Q. What more did you learn?

Q. Will the U.S. escalate its response, sir?

NOTE: The President spoke at 5:23 p.m. on the tarmac at the Des Moines International Airport prior to boarding Air Force One en route to Joint Base Andrews, MD. In his remarks, he referred to President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin of Russia.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks in an Exchange With Reporters in Des Moines, Iowa Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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