WASHINGTON - US President Joe Biden has called Vladimir Putin a “dictator” and accused him of “genocide” in Ukraine.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised Biden’s remark as the “true words of a true leader”.

After using the word “genocide” in a speech, Biden later told reporters: “I called it genocide because it’s become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out even the idea of being Ukrainian.”

CNN said it was a “dramatic rhetorical escalation in the US view of what is happening on the ground in Ukraine”.