Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday accused Russia of carrying out "an obvious policy of genocide" in the eastern Donbas region.
Moscow's offensive in Donbas could end up leaving the region "uninhabited," he said, as quoted by AFP, accusing the Russians of wanting to reduce its cities to ashes.
"All this, including the deportation of our people and the mass killings of civilians, is an obvious policy of genocide pursued by Russia," Zelenskyy said in his daily televised address.
In April, US President Joe Biden said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is committing genocide in Ukraine.
The President later doubled down on his remarks, telling reporters, “Yes, I called it genocide. It’s become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out the idea of even being a Ukrainian.”
Biden had twice before that referred to Putin as a “war criminal”.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken later said he personally believes war crimes have been committed in Ukraine.
"Yesterday, President Biden said that in his opinion, war crimes have been committed in Ukraine. Personally, I agree," Blinken said, adding, "Intentionally targeting civilians is a war crime. After all the destruction of the past few weeks, I find it difficult to conclude that the Russians are doing otherwise."