By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
WARSAW/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – U.S. President Joe Biden has told a crowd in Poland that “Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia, never.”
He spoke after Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the West of causing the armed conflict and announced Russia’s suspension of the New START Treaty.
New START was the last remaining nuclear arms deal between Washington and Moscow, adding to concerns that the world is becoming more dangerous.
Yet as he gave his address before the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Biden tried to sound upbeat.
Speaking in a carefully choreographed speech near the Royal Palace in Warsaw, Biden proclaimed “unwavering” support for the defense of Ukraine.
He also said America would help defend the eastern flank of the NATO military alliance.
Biden praised Kyiv’s defenders less than 24 hours after a surprise visit to the Ukrainian capital, where air raid sirens wailed on his arrival.
BRACING FOR FALL
He noted that a year ago, the world was “bracing” for Ukraine’s fall as Russia’s forces entered the nation. “I can report: Kyiv stands strong, Kyiv stands proud, it stands tall, and, most important, it stands free,” he said, drawing applause from the thousand-strong crowd.
“When President Putin ordered his tanks to roll in Ukraine, he thought we would roll over. He was wrong. The Ukrainian people are too brave. America, Europe, a coalition of nations for the Atlantic to the Pacific, we were too unified. Democracy was too strong,” Biden said, blasting the Russian president by name.
“President Putin is confronted with something today that he didn’t think was possible a year ago,” he continued.
“The democracies of the world have grown stronger, not weaker, but the autocrats of the world have grown weaker, and not stronger. Because in the moments of great upheaval and uncertainty, knowing what you stand for is most important, and knowing who stands with you makes all of the difference,” Biden stressed.
“Appetites of the autocrat cannot be appeased; they must be opposed. Autocrats only understand one word, ‘No!'” Biden said. “‘No, no, no. You will not take my country. No, you will not take my freedom. No, you will not take my future.'”
He claimed that Putin “no longer doubts the strength of our coalition” but “still doubts our conviction.”
“He doubts our staying power. He doubts our continued support for Ukraine. He doubts whether NATO can remain unified. But there should be no doubt our support for Ukraine will not waver,” he said. “NATO will not be divided, and we will not tire,” he added. “President Putin’s craven lust for land and power will fail. And the Ukrainian people’s love for their country will prevail. Democracies in the world will stand guard over freedom today, tomorrow, and forever. For that’s what it’s — that’s what’s at stake here: Freedom.”
Addressing the people of Russia directly, Biden stressed that the West was not plotting to attack Russia and that the war was never a necessity, but it was a tragedy.
He said President Putin chose this war, and he could quickly end it. If Russia stopped invading Ukraine, it would stop the war, but if Ukraine stopped defending itself, “it would mean the end of Ukraine,” he said, adding that’s why Ukraine receives support from its Western allies.
After about 20 minutes, Biden closed by saying the world was at “an inflection point” and that “the decisions we make over the next five years or so will determine and shape our lives for decades to come.”
“And while decisions are ours to make now, the principles and the stakes are eternal. The choice between chaos and stability, between building and destroying, between hope and fear, between democracy lifting up the human spirit — and the brutal hand of the dictator who crushes it,” he said.
Among those listening were multiple Polish leaders, including President Andrzej Duda and several of his predecessors.
At the conclusion of his speech in Poland’s capital Warsaw, Biden was greeted on stage by children waving Ukrainian, Polish, and American flags.
Coldplay’s A Sky Full of Stars played through loudspeakers as he paused to chat with the youngsters, as part of a pro-Ukraine show that he clearly hoped would not be forgotten.
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