US President Joe Biden on Tuesday labeled Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine a "genocide" for the first time after calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a "dictator.”
Biden was delivering a speech in Menlo, Iowa, on his administration’s efforts to lower gas prices which have been increasing due to the war and address rising inflation.
His remarks came hours after the Labor Department released data showing that the consumer price index, which measures a basket of goods and services, jumped 8.5% in March from a year ago on an unadjusted basis, marking the largest 12-month increase since December 1981.
Biden said he was doing everything within his power through executive orders to reduce "the price and address the Putin price hike," referring to Russia’s war in Ukraine and its impacts beyond.
Also read: Biden calls Putin a war criminal as Russia says mission 'going to plan'
"Your family budget, your ability to fill up your tank, none of it should hinge on whether a dictator declares war and commits genocide a half a world away," he said.
He said Putin’s invasion has driven up gas prices and food prices all over the world, adding that "70% of the increase in prices in March came from the Putin price hike."
At least 1,892 civilians have been killed and 2,558 injured in Ukraine since Russia launched its war on Feb. 24, according to UN estimates, with the true figure feared to be much higher.
More than 4.6 million Ukrainians have fled to other countries, with millions more internally displaced, according to the UN refugee agency.
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