According to US President Joe Biden, Russian Head of State Vladimir Putin should no longer remain in power. “For God’s sake, this man cannot stay in power,” Biden said, without explicitly mentioning the Russian president at this point. However, Biden mentioned Putin by name several times, and in some cases simply referred to him as a “dictator.”
Biden spoke Saturday at the end of a two-day visit to Poland at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, which is considered a symbol of the Polish capital, which was once largely destroyed in World War II and later rebuilt.
In the immediate aftermath of Biden’s speech, a senior White House official took pains to emphasize that the president’s statement did not directly call for Putin’s ouster. “The president’s message was that Putin should not be allowed to have power over his neighbors or the region. He did not talk about Putin’s power in Russia or the overthrow of the government,” he said.
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With Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, Putin made a strategic mistake, Biden said. “A dictator who wants to rebuild an empire will never be able to quench people’s love of freedom,” Biden said. In Ukraine, Putin will “never” achieve a victory, he stressed.
Biden condemned Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin’s description that Russia was carrying out “denazification” in Ukraine. “That’s a lie, that’s just cynical and also obscene.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish and his father’s family was a victim of the Holocaust, Biden continued. “And Putin, like all autocrats, has the nerve to think that might makes right.”
Biden pledged the support of the United States to the people of Ukraine. “We are by your side.” Russia is trying to crush democracy at home and is also endangering neighboring countries. There is no justification for Russia’s brutal war of aggression in Ukraine, Biden said.
In his speech, the US president set the world in the mood for a long conflict over the future international order. This is a “great battle between democracy and autocracy, between freedom and oppression, between an order based on rules and one governed by brute force,” Biden said. “We have to be clear: this battle will not take place in days or months. We have to steel ourselves for a long fight.”
Biden emphatically warned Putin against an attack on NATO territory. “Don’t even think about taking action against an inch of NATO territory.” The United States and its NATO partners have a “sacred obligation” to defend alliance territory with the combined might of all members, Biden said.
Biden said that Putin miscalculated the war of aggression in Ukraine. NATO and the West are now “closer” than ever. Russia wanted fewer NATO soldiers in Eastern Europe, now there are more, he said. The US military alone now has more than 100,000 soldiers in Europe.
Biden had previously used the visit to Poland to make a clear commitment to NATO and a duty to provide assistance. On Saturday, Biden called the alliance case article of the NATO treaty a “sacred obligation” for his country.
He backed Ukraine at a meeting with its foreign and defense ministers in Warsaw. Biden expressed doubts about Moscow’s announcement of a change in strategy, according to which the Russian military would focus in the future on the “liberation” of the Donbass region.
In his meeting with the Polish head of state Andrzej Duda, the American president referred to Article 5 of the NATO treaty. Consequently, an attack on one country in the defending alliance is counted as an attack on all states in the alliance. “You can count on it,” Biden said, “for our freedom and yours.” With these words, Biden took up a slogan from the time of the Polish struggle against Russian occupiers in the 19th century.
Russian head of state Vladimir Putin is “putting a divided NATO to no avail,” Biden said. His predecessor in the presidency, Donald Trump, had called NATO “obsolete” and raised considerable doubts among European partners about US loyalty to the alliance.
Biden arrived in the NATO country on Friday for a two-day visit. On Saturday he used his stay for her first personal meeting with high-ranking government officials in kyiv since the start of the Ukraine war on February 24.
Biden also visited Ukrainian refugees
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Pentagon Chief Lloyd also took part in the talks with Ukrainian Foreign and Defense Ministers Dmytro Kuleba and Oleksiy Reznikov at the Warsaw Marriott Hotel. State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States had made its “firm commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Biden then visited Ukrainian refugees in Warsaw. Referring to the suffering of the Ukrainian civilian population, she described Putin as a “butcher”. The US president had previously called the Kremlin chief a “war criminal.”
The Kremlin responded to the US president’s statement on Saturday. The Tass news agency quoted a Kremlin spokesman as saying this would reduce the prospects for better relations.
Regarding a possible change in Russia’s strategy in Ukraine, Biden said he was “not sure” that it had been implemented. Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff Sergei Rudskoy said on Friday that the army will focus in the future on the “liberation” of the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine.
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The first goals set for the military operation in Ukraine were achieved and “Ukrainian combat units were significantly reduced,” Rudskoy said. This would allow the army to focus “most of its efforts on the main goal: the liberation of Donbass”.
Parts of Donbass are already in the hands of pro-Russian militias. Until now, the Kremlin’s declared war goal has been to “denazify” the whole of Ukraine, overthrow President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and crush the Ukrainian military.
In central Ukraine, the Ukrainian Air Force command center in Vinnytsia was heavily damaged by six Russian cruise missiles. However, the Ukrainian military also reported significant gains on the ground, including in the capital region of kyiv.
According to the Pentagon, the Ukrainian military has also launched an offensive to recapture the city of Kherson. According to Ukrainian sources, a Russian general was killed at the Chernobaivka airport in the Kherson region. According to Western security circles, seven Russian generals have already been killed in the Ukraine war.
France, Greece and Turkey have announced a joint initiative to evacuate the hard-fought city of Mariupol in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine’s human rights commissioner Lyudmyla Denizova accused the Russian military of stopping a convoy carrying injured children from Mariupol at its checkpoints. (dpa/AFP)