WASHINGTON, D.C. — Iowa Senator Joni Ernst said Monday that she agrees with President Joe Biden: Russian President Vladimir Putin is a “war criminal” for killing civilians during his country’s attack on neighboring Ukraine. “I do believe that Putin is a war criminal,” Ernst told WHO 13 when asked whether she shares Biden’s view of Putin.
“We have seen this demonstrated on television every single day,” Ernst said, “…he (Putin) has been targeting schools, hospitals and he’s killed innocent women and children.”
Putin’s forces attacked Ukraine nearly a month ago. Some organizations estimate that civilian deaths in Ukraine are nearing 1,000 with scores of others wounded. But they caution that number may be significantly higher since it is difficult to tally with millions fleeing the region.
Ernst said that it would be up to an international war tribunal to determine potential punishment for Putin for international war crimes. That can be a lengthy and complicated process with no guarantee that Russia would ever hand over Putin to face his trial.
Ernst and a bipartisan group of lawmakers just returned from a visit to Germany and Poland to meet with troops, foreign leaders and relief organizations to get a closer look at the dire situation in Ukraine.