Joe Biden stated Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power” in a speech on the invasion of Ukraine on Saturday.
“Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia. For free people refuse to live in a world of hopelessness and darkness,” Biden said at the end of a speech at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland. They “have a different future, a brighter future, rooted in democracy and principle, hope and light, of decency and dignity and freedom and possibilities.”
Then Biden added, “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”
'For God's sake, Putin cannot remain in power.'
President Joe Biden says 'brutality will never grind down the will to be free' and "Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia."https://t.co/iOm40vn1kt
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— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 26, 2022
A White House official issued a comment minutes later saying that Biden was not calling for regime change.
“The President’s point was 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,” the official said.
Earlier in the address, Biden repeated a pledge to defend NATO allies. While Ukraine is not a member of the NATO alliance, Poland and the Baltic states on Russia’s border are members.
“Don’t even think about moving on one single inch of NATO territory,” Biden said. “We have a sacred obligation under Article 5 to d1efend each and every inch of NATO territory.”
Biden made his statements after meeting with Ukrainian evacuees and also holding conversations with Ukrainian authorities as well as Poland’s head of state Andrzej Duda.
At a later press conference Biden denied the comment, a journalist asked him ” It — made it sound like, just in the last couple of days — it sounded like you told U.S. troops they were going to Ukraine. It sounded like you said it was possible the U.S. would use a chemical weapon. And it sounded like you were calling for regime change in Russia. And we know —”
Biden immediately jumped on it, saing “None of the three occurred.”
Throughout Biden’s visit, the city of Lviv in western Ukraine was targeted in an obvious rocket strike. Lviv sits near the boundary with Poland and also has actually been mostly saved from fighting given that the battle began. While there were no verified casualties in the strikes, CNN reported that one strike hit a fuel storage facility, causing it to burst into flames.
H/T National Review