Russia summons US ambassador over Biden's 'war criminal' comment
The relationship between Russia and the US is 'on the verge of rupture.'
On Monday, Russia summoned the US ambassador after US president Joe Biden had called the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, a "war criminal" amid Moscow's special military operation in Ukraine, which was authorized on February 24.
"Such statements by the American president, which are not worthy of a high-ranking statesman, have put Russian-American relations on the verge of rupture," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The statement explained that the ambassador, John Sullivan, was given a letter of protest over "recent unacceptable statements" which Biden made, being warned that "hostile actions taken against Russia would receive a firm and decisive response," according to the ministry.
In response to the statement, Ned Price, spokesperson for the US State Department, counterargued the point: "They've given their version of events," he said, adding, "I think it is worth repeating that Russia is carrying out an unprovoked and an unjustified war on Ukraine and we are seeing clearly evidence that they are intentionally targeting civilians and committing indiscriminate attacks."
Speaking of war criminals
In February, Yahoo News cited five former intelligence and national security officials familiar with the program as saying that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been directing a secret US training program for elite Ukrainian special forces and other intelligence officers - they're trained to "kill Russians."
The news website added that according to authorities, the CIA has been running an intensive training program for Ukrainian paramilitaries in an unknown base in the southern United States since 2015. As per a former senior intelligence officer, it was started by the Obama administration, enlarged by the Trump administration, and supplemented by the Biden administration.
The US government has stated that the program is not offensive in nature and that the goal of the training is to aid in information gathering.
Meanwhile, a former senior intelligence officer told Yahoo News that the program includes "very specific training on skills" that will help Ukraine's "ability to push back against the Russians." According to Yahoo News, another former CIA source acquainted with the program said that the US is training an insurgency and has trained the Ukrainians how to "to kill Russians."