Outgoing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has, for the first time, openly criticized his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin over the horrific killing in Ukraine. Speaking to local media Tuesday, Duterte slammed Putin for targeting innocent civilians in the name of a "special military operation."

Duterte, who steps down on June 30 after his turbulent six-year term ends, said that while he and Putin have both been tagged as killers, “I kill criminals, I don’t kill children and the elderly,” the Associated Press reported.

The Philippine president, who has previously called Putin an idol and a friend, blamed the war in Ukraine as the main reason for the spike in global oil prices in many countries, including his own.

Duterte also disagreed with Putin’s labeling of the invasion as a “special military operation,” saying that what was happening in the region was nothing but a full-scale war waged against “a sovereign nation.”

With just a month left in office, Duterte urged the Russian Embassy in Manila to stop bombing and firing artillery rounds on residential areas and causing the death of innocent civilians. He also urged them to increase dialogue with Putin to allow the residents safe passage out of the war zones.

“I’m on the way out and I don’t know how to solve the problem,” Duterte said. “You have to solve the war between Ukraine and Russia before we can talk of even returning to normalcy.”

Russian troops invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, and the war is entering its fourth month with continued fight from both the countries' troops. Thousands have lost their lives and millions of Ukrainians have been displaced in the last three months.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday said that he was willing to meet with Putin and discuss measures to end the war, but that he would not get into a dialogue with any other Russian official.

"The president of the Russian Federation decides it all," Zelensky said through an interpreter. "If we are talking about ending this war without him personally, that decision cannot be taken."

File photo of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks at Villamor Air Base in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines, February 28, 2021. Photo: Reuters / Eloisa Lopez