President Joe Biden’s accusation made earlier this week that Moscow was committing “genocide” in Ukraine has raised concerns among officials in the White House and has not been confirmed by US intelligence agencies, NBC News reported on Friday, citing senior government officials.
The claim of genocide “has so far not been corroborated by information collected by US intelligence agencies,” the report said.
The news outlet quoted two State Department officials as saying that Biden’s remarks “made it harder for the agency to credibly do its job,” since it is up to the department to formally determine genocide and other war crimes.
“Genocide includes a goal of destroying an ethnic group or nation and, so far, that is not what we are seeing,” a US intelligence official was quoted as saying. At the same time, NBC added, the intelligence community is concerned that Russia’s actions “could amount to genocide” in the future.
On Tuesday, during a domestic policy speech in Iowa, Biden accused Moscow of “trying to wipe out the idea of even being Ukrainian.” The statement came after Kiev claimed that Russian troops were killing civilians in Bucha and other towns near the Ukrainian capital. Mass graves and bodies with signs of executions were discovered in the area from where the Russian forces retreated in late March.