Russia's "barbaric missile attacks" show "brutal" impact of war, Yellen says
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen condemned Russia's recent missile strikes in Ukraine during a meeting attended by a Russian official Tuesday, saying President Vladimir Putin's "barbaric missile attacks" show the "brutal" impact of the ongoing war, according to a Treasury official.
The big picture: Yellen is the latest senior Biden administration official to speak out about the strikes and condemn the Putin regime for targeting civilians.
What she said: "Putin’s regime and the officials who serve it — including those representing Russia at these gatherings — bear responsibility for the immense human suffering this war has caused," Yellen said, per a Treasury official.
- "That includes the innocent lives taken by President Putin’s barbaric missile attacks across Ukraine yesterday. Russia’s decision to indiscriminately strike civilian targets shows the world yet again the true nature of their brutal and illegal war in Ukraine."
Details: Yellen made the comments at the Joint Finance-Agriculture Ministerial. A source familiar with the meeting told Axios that Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov also attended the meeting virtually.
- Putin announced the strikes as a revenge attack for an explosion on the Kerch bridge over the weekend that links Crimea to Russia.
- Putin said the fireball explosion on the bridge — which Putin often uses as a political symbol for his claim of Crimea — was a terrorist attack by Ukraine.
- The United Nations human rights office said the attack violated international law since it appeared to have targeted civilians.
What they're saying: Like Yellen, President Biden said in a statement that the "attacks killed and injured civilians and destroyed targets with no military purpose. They once again demonstrate the utter brutality of Mr. Putin's illegal war on the Ukrainian people."
- "These attacks only further reinforce our commitment to stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes," the statement added.
- Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the "international community has a responsibility to make clear that President Putin's actions are completely unacceptable."
Editor's note: This story has been updated with new details throughout.