Russia’s president “cannot remain in power,” Joe Biden has said in a speech where he pleaded with Russians to stand up against the war, and told Ukrainians that the US stands with them.
In a speech made in Warsaw, Poland, the US president built on earlier remarks in which he referred to Vladimir Putin as a “butcher”, describing him as “a dictator” and saying stopping the war in Ukraine is “the task of our time.”
He said: “Brutality will never grind down the will to be free. Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia,” adding at the end of his speech, “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”
The Kremlin reacted furiously at the quote and the White House moved quickly to clarify that Biden was not calling for a regime change in Moscow.
“This is not to be decided by Mr. Biden,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in response. “It should only be a choice of the people of the Russian Federation.”
“The President’s point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region. He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change,” a White House official said.
Biden directly addressed the Russian people and also issued a warning that this war could last for decades if not resolved soon. “I’m telling you the truth. This war is not worthy of you the Russian people,” he said. “Putin can and must end this war. The American people will stand with you and the brave citizens of Ukraine that want peace.”
“It’s nothing less than a direct challenge for the order established since the World War II and it threatens to return to decades of war that ravage Europe before the international rule-based order was put in place. We cannot go back to that,” Biden went onto say.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: FOX4 KC