Biden rallies support for Ukraine in speech from Warsaw: ‘We stand with you’

WARSAW, Poland — President Joe Biden framed the conflict in Ukraine because the battle of a era within the struggle for democracy as he sought to rally the world’s help behind the embattled nation.

“Democracies of the world are revitalized,” Biden stated of worldwide response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking from a former citadel in Warsaw earlier than a crowd that included Ukrainian refugees, Biden blasted Russian President Vladimir Putin and known as on the Russian folks to decide on a distinct path for their very own nation. He additionally urged Europe to finish its dependence on Russian gasoline and unite behind a stress marketing campaign towards Putin.

“It will not be easy, there will be costs,” the president stated, as the gang waved U.S., Ukrainian and Polish flags. “But it’s a price we have to pay. Because the darkness that drives autocracy is ultimately no match for the flame of liberty that lights the souls of free people everywhere.”

President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden delivers a speech on the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland on Saturday.Evan Vucci / AP

“We stand with you,” he stated of Ukraine.

Biden attacked Putin for repeatedly claiming forward of the invasion that he had no intention of coming into Ukraine, and blasted him for his brutality because the army assault started. Moments earlier than Biden spoke, the Ukrainian metropolis of Lviv, which had been a relative protected haven inside the nation, was hit by at the least three missile strikes.

“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” Biden stated of Putin.

A White House official stated later that the president had not been calling for Putin’s deposal. “The president’s point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region,” the official stated. “He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change.”

But Biden additionally painted a hopeful image — one the place freedom prevails over autocracies and the place unity among the many Western allies has by no means been stronger.

“A dictator bent on rebuilding an empire will never be able to erase the people’s love for liberty. Brutality will never grind down the will to be free. Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia, for free people refuse to live in a world of hopelessness, of darkness,” Biden stated.

Biden made a number of references to well-liked historic Polish figures, like Pope John Paul II and former president Lech Wałęsa, and referenced the battles Poland has confronted over time for freedom.

It was a message directed on the Polish folks — who crammed the streets exterior the venue to listen to Biden’s remarks — as they discover themselves on the frontlines of the refugee disaster and more and more fearful that they could be Russia’s subsequent goal.

“In this hour, let the words of Pope John Paul burn as brightly today, never ever give up hope, never doubt, never tire, never become discouraged. Be not afraid,” Biden stated.

Biden additionally had a message for the Russian folks, warning them that Putin’s actions would minimize them off from the world and is “taking Russia back to the 19th century.”

“This is not who you are, this is not the future you deserve for your families and your children,” Biden stated. “This war is not worthy of you, the Russian people. Putin can, and must end this war.”

Ahead of the speech, Biden met with Ukrainian refugees and help staff at a sports activities stadium that after hosted rock live shows and soccer matches. It now gives momentary shelter for refugees, and help serving to them register for varsity and work.

At the stadium, a bunch of refugee ladies and youngsters gathered round Biden telling him about their experiences, asking him to hope for his or her male family again in Ukraine, and thanking him for the U.S. help. Biden hugged a lady with tears in her eyes and picked up slightly woman, clad in pink winter put on, to take a photograph along with her. The woman’s mom instructed Biden how her daughter and toddler had been sheltering in a basement earlier than making it to Poland.

“I’m always surprised by the depth and strength of the human sprint, I mean it sincerely,” Biden stated after assembly with the refugees. “They are an amazing group of people.”

When requested by a journalist about studies of a change in Russian technique, Biden sounded a skeptical word. “I’m not sure they have,” he stated. A Russian basic stated Friday that forces are shifting away from their countrywide assault on Ukraine and refocusing on the “complete liberation” of the nation’s separatist Donbas area.

Biden, requested what he considered Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine, was blunt. “He’s a butcher,” stated Biden.

The refugee disaster has been ever current all through Biden’s two days in Poland. As Biden’s motorcade headed to a gathering with Poland’s president Saturday, it rolled previous the Warsaw practice station the place a gradual stream of refugees simply arriving within the nation lined up for meals and fundamental provides like rest room paper, and sought assist with housing and transportation.

While Poland has welcomed the refugees with open arms, and indicators of help for Ukraine blanket town, Polish officers, together with the mayor of Warsaw, whom Biden met with on Saturday, have stated they’re being pushed to the brink making an attempt to assist the greater than 2 million refugees who’ve flooded into the nation in a matter of weeks.

“We do acknowledge that Poland is taking on a significant responsibility that I don’t think should just be Poland,” Biden instructed President Andrzej Duda throughout a gathering Saturday. “It should be the whole world. All nations’ responsibility.”

Biden additionally offered reassurances to Duda that if Russia have been to assault Poland, the U.S. would come to its protection as a part of its dedication underneath the NATO alliance.

Biden’s speech capped three days in Europe, the place he held what could possibly be a number of the most consequential conferences of his presidency with world leaders, in search of to solidify their unity behind a sustained stress marketing campaign towards Russia.

The White House had stated it hoped Biden’s speech would assist unite help for the Ukrainian folks, maintain Russia accountable and body the battle as a bigger battle for democracy.

The U.S. introduced a sequence of steps this week to attempt to ratchet up stress on Russia and help Ukraine, together with further sanctions on greater than 400 Russians and Russian entities, $1 billion in humanitarian help, plans to absorb 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, and a job power to minimize European dependence on Russian pure gasoline.

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