WARSAW, Poland (Fwrd Axis) — In a major speech from Poland on Saturday, President Joe Biden declared forcefully the world will stand up to Russia and President Vladimir Putin as their war in Ukraine worsens with each passing day as he rallied the world’s support behind Ukraine.
Speaking from Royal Castle in Warsaw before a crowd of 1,000 Ukrainian officials and refugees, Biden declared the world stands with the people of Ukraine and slammed Putin’s war, calling on the Russian people to choose a different path before it’s too late.
“Putin has the gall to say he’s de-Nazifying Ukraine. It’s a lie,” Biden said. “It’s just cynical. He knows that and it’s also obscene.”
The President also urged Europe to end its dependence on Russian gas and unite against Putin to pressure him to end the war.
“It will not be easy, there will be costs,” Biden said. “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.”
“We stand with you,” he said of Ukraine.
Prior to his remarks, the Ukrainian city of Lviv was hit by three Russian missiles, something that Putin had previously said would not happen. Biden quickly made headlines towards the end of his speech where he went off script, saying Putin should no longer remain in power, something other world leaders have not said.
“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” Biden announced to the crowd.
The White House immediately downplayed Biden’s remark: “The President’s point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region,” a White House official said. “He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change.”
The comment was not in Biden’s prepared remarks, a U.S. official confirmed to FWRD AXIS News.
It marks the furthest he had gone in calling for changes in Russia’s government and displays a significant change in his rhetorical approach to how to deal with Moscow.
“This is not to be decided by Mr. Biden. It should only be a choice of the people of the Russian Federation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a statement in response to Biden’s speech.
The President attempted to strike a hopeful tone, saying unity among the Western allies has never 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 said.
Biden opened his speech by quoting Pope John Paul II and former president Lech Wałęsa, a message directed at the people of Poland, who gathered in the streets as he spoke.
“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 said.