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White House press secretary Jen Psaki slammed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Victory Day speech Monday, saying while he and the Russian people celebrated, “we’re seeing Russian forces commit war crimes and atrocities in Ukraine, as they engage in a brutal war that is causing so much suffering and needless destruction.”
Putin marked his country’s biggest patriotic holiday without a major new battlefield success in Ukraine to boast of, as the war ground on through its 11th week with the Kremlin’s forces making little or no progress in their offensive.
Watch the event in the live player above.
While Western analysts in recent weeks had widely expected Putin to use the holiday to trumpet some kind of victory in Ukraine or announce an escalation, he did neither. Instead, he sought to justify the war again as a necessary response to what he portrayed as a hostile Ukraine.
READ MORE: Biden says U.S. sending Ukraine another $150 million in aid
Speaking about Putin’s remarks at the White House briefing, Psaki said the Russian leader was “perverting” history to attempt to “justify his unprovoked and unjustified war.”
But she said, “what is fortunate is that we are all aware, reporters around the world are aware, Europeans are aware, Americans are aware, of the disinformation factory that President Putin and the Kremlin seem to be.”
Psaki also said women in the United States are “at serious risk” of abortion being completely outlawed, as Republicans push for the overturning of Roe v. Wade and potential federal legislation banning abortion.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in an interview with USA Today published over the weekend that if Republicans take control of Congress, they could pursue a federal ban on abortion.
“You’re also seeing a number of Republicans in states and some in Congress double down on this potential to overturn a law that has been the law of the land for 50 years,” Psaki said.
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