Biden delivers rallying cry for Ukraine in Warsaw

One yr after Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine with the intention of capturing the capital metropolis, the nation continues to be “independent and free,” President Biden proclaimed Tuesday in Poland.

“Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia — never,” Biden mentioned to a crowd of hundreds at Warsaw’s Royal Castle.

In a combative speech on the eve of the grim first anniversary of Russia’s Feb. 24, 2021, invasion of Ukraine, Biden praised NATO allies for rallying behind Kyiv and declared that the protection coalition is stronger than ever.

“There should be no doubt: Our support for Ukraine will not waver, NATO will not be divided, and we will not tire,” he mentioned.

The speech echoed his feedback a day earlier in Kyiv, the place he made an unannounced go to to point out U.S. solidarity and announce $500 billion in new help for Ukraine. He strolled the streets of the besieged nation’s capital metropolis with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as air raid sirens blared, a dangerous feat that required a covert, predawn flight and a 10-hour, in a single day prepare journey.

Biden final spoke from the courtyard of Warsaw‘s Royal Castle in March when he delivered a rousing speech to signal NATO resolve in Ukraine’s battle, punctuated by a declaration that President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power.”

Nearly a yr later, Biden proclaimed that Putin’s goals to overhaul the nation and fracture the NATO alliance remained out of attain.

Biden’s speech within the Polish capital introduced a examine in contrasts to a pugnacious deal with hours earlier by Putin, wherein the Russian chief mentioned he was suspending cooperation within the New START nuclear nonproliferation settlement, the only real remaining arms management treaty between Washington and Moscow.

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While Biden lauded Western unity in confronting Russia over its unprovoked assault on a smaller neighbor, Putin insisted that Moscow had not initiated the battle final Feb. 24, when Russian troops poured throughout the Ukrainian border in a multipronged assault.

“They were the ones who started the war,” the Russian chief mentioned of Ukraine and its Western allies.

Putin accused Washington and its European companions of army and financial aggression, saying Moscow was left with no alternative however to reply.

A day after Biden was rapturously welcomed within the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, the Russian chief derided the Ukrainian individuals as pawns, held hostage to their “Western overlords.” In his prolonged state-of-the-nation deal with to the joint homes of Russia’s parliament, Putin additionally declared that Russia may by no means be defeated on the battlefield.

That drew a daylong sequence of gibes on social media, with Ukrainians declaring that Moscow had suffered a sequence of humiliating defeats within the practically one yr since launching the full-scale invasion. Putin’s speech demonstrated his “confusion and irrelevance,” mentioned Mykhylo Podalyak, a senior advisor to President Volodomyr Zelensky.

Even because the Russian chief was talking, the civilian toll mounted in Ukraine, the place authorities reported not less than six deaths within the southern metropolis of Kherson, together with six individuals killed at a transit cease. The authorities in Kyiv has accused Russia of committing lots of of hundreds of struggle crimes in Ukraine, together with the indiscriminate bombardment of civilian areas.

Zelensky, in his channel on the Telegram messaging app, accused Russian forces of “again mercilessly killing the civilian population,” posting footage of crumpled our bodies in bloodied civilian garb in Kherson. Ukrainian forces recaptured the strategic metropolis in November, and it has since come below practically every day shelling.

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“The world has no right to forget for a single moment that Russian cruelty and aggression know no bounds,” Zelensky wrote in his Telegram submit.