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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Joe Biden calls for regime change in Moscow because he likes invasion of WWII horrors

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Joe Biden addressed the Russian people and called for regime change (Jeff J Mitchell/PA) (PA Wire)

Joe Biden directly appealed to the Russian people with comparisons between the invasion of Ukraine and the horrors of World War II while calling for Vladimir Putin to leave.

“For God’s sake, this man cannot stay in power,” the US president said, appearing to call for regime change in Moscow at the end of a speech from Poland on Saturday.

He said “if you can listen: you, the Russian people, are not our enemies” before evoking the Nazi siege of Leningrad and comparing it to the atrocities in Ukraine.

“These are not the actions of a great nation,” Biden said, standing in front of the Royal Castle, a landmark in Warsaw that was badly damaged during Adolf Hitler’s war.

“Of all the people, you, the Russian people, as well as all the people throughout Europe, still have the memory of being in a similar situation in the 30s and 40s, the situation of the Second World War, still fresh in the mind of many grandparents in the region.”

“Whatever your generation experienced, whether you experienced the siege of Leningrad or heard about it from your parents and grandparents, train stations packed with terrified families fleeing their homes, nights holed up in cellars and cellars, mornings checking the rubble of your home – these are not memories of the past, not anymore, this is exactly what the Russian military is doing in Ukraine at the moment.”

Multiple rockets hit the western Ukrainian city of Lviv near the Polish border during Biden’s visit, which came as Russia faced the prospect of further setbacks in the war.

The US president said Moscow’s troops had “confronted their party with the brave and tough Ukrainian resistance” and strengthened the determination and unity of both the defending forces and the West.

“Russia wanted less of a NATO presence on its border, but now it has a stronger presence, a bigger presence,” he said.

US President Joe Biden delivers a speech at the Royal Castle in Warsaw (Petr David Josek/AP) (AP)

US President Joe Biden delivers a speech at the Royal Castle in Warsaw (Petr David Josek/AP) (AP)

Biden said 200,000 Russians left their country in a single month in a “remarkable brain drain” as Putin, whom he previously called a “butcher,” had “strangled democracy.”

Addressing the 1,000-strong audience that included refugees who had fled the war, he told Ukrainians “we’re with you, period,” while defending the nation’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

“Putin has the nerve to say that he is de-Nazizing Ukraine. It’s a lie, he’s just cynical, he knows it,” Biden said.

And it’s also obscene. President Zelensky was democratically elected, he is Jewish, his father’s family was wiped out in the Nazi holocaust, and Putin has the audacity, like all autocrats before him, to believe that power will do the right thing.”

But while making an impassioned defense of democracy, he reminded European nations that they must “end their dependence on Russian fossil fuels.”

The sanctions, he said, have been sapping Russia’s strength and have reduced the ruble “to rubble.”

But Biden warned: “This battle will not be won in days or months. We have to arm ourselves with courage for the long fight ahead of us.”

Despite clearly asking Putin to leave at the end of his speech, a White House official tried to argue that the US president’s point was that the Russian leader “cannot be allowed to wield power over your neighbors or the region.

“He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change,” the official added, before reports in the US suggested the comments in question had not been written.

Tobias Ellwood, the Conservative MP who chairs the Defense Commons Committee, said Biden’s comment was “reckless”.

He warned that the Russian president will now see regime change as Biden’s broader goal, adding: “Putin will turn this around, dig in and fight harder.”

Biden stopped at RAF Mildenhall, a base in Suffolk that supports US military operations, on his way back to Washington so his Air Force One plane could refuel.

Moscow has given an indication that it might scale back its offensive to focus on what it claimed was the “main objective, the liberation of Donbas,” the region bordering Russia in eastern Ukraine.

Zelensky’s forces were retaking ground around the capital of kyiv and the UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the Russians “are reluctant to engage in large-scale urban infantry operations”.

Instead, the Defense Ministry said, they preferred the “indiscriminate use of aerial and artillery bombardment in an attempt to demoralize defending forces.”

A Ukrainian soldier on top of his APC in the frontline position near Kharkiv, Ukraine (AP) (AP)

A Ukrainian soldier on top of his APC in the frontline position near Kharkiv, Ukraine (AP) (AP)

However, there were new signs that it was Putin’s troops that were struggling with morale, as Western intelligence suggested that a Russian brigade commander, Colonel Medvechek, was deliberately run over and possibly killed by his own troops.

An adviser to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, Markian Lubkivskyi, predicted that troops could recapture Kherson, the first major city that Kremlin forces seized, on Saturday.

He was skeptical that the Russian president’s goals have really changed from trying to take over the entire nation, but said it appears “the enemy is concentrated in the eastern part of Ukraine.”

The southeastern port city of Kherson fell to the Russians earlier this month in their first major conquest.

But Lubkivskyi told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think today the city will be completely under the control of the Ukrainian armed forces.

“We have finished in the last two days the operation in the kyiv region, so other armed forces are now focused on the southern part trying to liberate Kherson and some other Ukrainian cities.”

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