By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
KYIV/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – The White House has rushed to deny that U.S. President Biden called for regime change when saying Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power.” The president made the remarks in Poland where he ended his tour to Europe to discuss the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking outside the Royal Castle in Warsaw, U.S. President Biden lashed out at his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine. “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power. God bless you all, and may God defend our freedom,” he said.
Biden also warned Putin, who he earlier called “a butcher,” not to enter Ukraine’s neighboring states of the NATO military alliance.
“Don’t even think about moving even one single inch of NATO territory. We have a sacred obligation under Article Five to defend each and every inch of NATO territory with the full force of our collective power,” Biden said, his voice rising.
Biden spoke after meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda and meeting some of the more than 3.5 million Ukrainian people who have now fled the war in Ukraine.
However, in an apparent damage control move, the White House denied that U.S. President Biden suggested regime change in Moscow. Instead, it said Biden’s point was that President Putin could not be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region.
The Kremlin responded by saying: “That’s not for Biden to decide – the president of Russia is elected by Russians.”
The diplomatic wrangling came as witnesses said Ukrainians endured another day of Russian attacks. Powerful explosions were even heard in Ukraine’s western city of Lviv, which had been spared the worst of the fighting.
Elsewhere the mayor of Chernihiv said the northern Ukrainian city was now completely encircled by Russian forces. The developments come despite Russia saying it would focus its invasion on the east, where pro-Russian separatists control the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Amid the turmoil, musicians in Ukraine’s second city of Kharkiv performed an emotional concert in a metro station, used as a makeshift shelter.
Events like this are a ray of light,” said Kharkiv resident Maria. “It helps us to trust in positivity and to be sure that soon everything will end and everything will be okay,” she added.
It was a small sign of hope in Europe’s bloodiest conflict in decades.
Kharkiv has been the target of intense Russian bombardment for weeks, leaving residents to take shelter in bunkers and metro stations. The concert marked the opening day of the Kharkiv Music Festival, held even in war times.
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