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Blinken: Images of dead Ukrainians ‘punch in the stomach’
“You can’t help but see these images as a punch in the stomach,” Blinken told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union” on Sunday. “Since the aggression, we have come out and said that we believe that Russian forces committed war crimes, and we have worked to document this, to provide the information we have to the competent instructions and organizations who will put all this together. And there must be a responsibility for that.
Last month, the State Department formally charged Russian forces with war crimes in Ukraine. Asked on Sunday whether Russian troops were committing genocide, Blinken said, “We’re going to look carefully and document everything we see, put it all together, make sure the relevant institutions and organizations looking at this, including the Department of state, have everything they need to assess exactly what happened in Ukraine, who is responsible and what it amounts to.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was also questioned later on Sunday by Bash if Russian actions in Ukraine constituted genocide, but he chose to call it “a brutality against civilians that we don’t have seen in Europe for decades”.

“The elimination of the whole nation and the people. We are the citizens of Ukraine. We have more than 100 nationalities. This is about the destruction and extermination of all these nationalities,” Zelensky told “Face the Nation” on CBS.

CNN was unable to independently confirm details of the men’s deaths. CNN has requested comment from the Russian Defense Ministry regarding allegations of civilian executions in the Kyiv region and other parts of Ukraine.

Also on Sunday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for further action against Russia and its President, Vladimir Putin, telling NBC’s “Meet The Press” that “now is the time to double down on the pressure.”

“I think we’re really watching this with our eyes wide open and seeing very clearly the threat he poses, not just to Ukraine, as we can see in our news every night, but really to Europe. , for the democracy and global stability that we thought we were building over the past 20 years,” Clinton said.

Blinken on Sunday declined to confirm reports from CNN and others that the United States was helping facilitate the transfer of Soviet-era tanks to Ukraine, which was one of the weapons systems sought by Zelensky. .

But Blinken said the United States and NATO countries are helping to provide Ukraine with the weapons it needs, adding that there will soon be 10 anti-tank weapon systems in the county for every Russian tank. which is on the territory of Ukraine.

“Overall, what we’re trying to do is make sure Ukrainians have the systems they need that they can use and that they can use right away,” Blinken said.

Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Fox on Sunday that he supports sending Ukrainians “everything they can use and as quickly as possible.”

“We can’t dither and worry about some niceties here while the Ukrainians are fighting for their own lives, and if they feel they need to remove a fuel depot across the Russian border, go- y,” he added, referring to an alleged strike on a Russian fuel depot late last week.

Russia accused Ukrainian helicopters of hitting the Belgorod fuel depot. CNN could not verify the Russian claims, and the Ukrainian Defense Ministry neither confirmed nor denied the attack.
Asked about the prospect of Ukraine maintaining neutrality between the West and Russia as part of a negotiated end to the war, Blinken said the Biden administration would support what Ukrainians want to maintain their sovereignty.

“Looking forward, we and our allies and partners will want to make sure we do everything we can to make sure this doesn’t happen again and that Ukraine has the means to defend itself, to deter further Russian aggression,” he said. “So we’re going to look at everything we can do (to) back up that kind of result.”

This report has been updated with additional feedback and details.

CNN’s Chandelis Duster, Allie Malloy, Ali Main, Shawna Mizelle, Niamh Kennedy and Anastasia Graham Yooll contributed to this report.

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