US President Joe Biden delivered a speech on Tuesday evening in Warsaw, Poland to mark the anniversary of the start of the war in Ukraine in which he reaffirmed extremely strongly the support of the United States and the West for the resistance Ukraine against the invasion of Russia. Biden also harshly attacked Russian President Vladimir Putin, who only a few hours earlier had delivered his own speech to the nation reiterating his willingness to continue the invasion of Ukraine (defined as a “special military operation” by Russian propaganda) and announcing that Russia will withdraw from the New START nuclear arms control treaty.
Biden described US and Western support for Ukraine as a necessary effort against the autocracy: he promised that “Russia’s crimes against humanity will be punished” and that by the end of the week the US will impose new sanctions against Russia, although the Russians have become quite adept at circumventing them.
“Autocrats understand one word: no. No, you will not take my country. No, you will not take my freedom. No, you won’t take my future. I will repeat tonight what I said last year: a dictator bent on rebuilding an empire will never be able to appease a people’s love of freedoms. Brutality will never defeat the will of free people. Russia will never win in Ukraine. Never,” said Biden in a particularly emotional moment of his speech. “This war is not necessary: it is tragic. It was President Putin who chose it. And every day that the war continues is his choice. He could end the war with a word, that would be simple. Russia could stop invading Ukraine and end the war. If Ukraine stops defending itself against Russia, however, it will be the end of Ukraine. That is why together we are making sure that Ukraine can defend itself.”
Biden also stressed the “unwavering” support of NATO countries for Ukraine, pledging to strengthen the security of Eastern European countries that are part of it, including Poland itself.
The speeches by Biden and Putin come three days before the exact anniversary of the large-scale invasion of Ukraine, and at a sensitive time in the conflict. In fact, Russia is amassing tens of thousands of soldiers in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbass and intensifying artillery attacks in the same area: according to various experts, it is likely to be preparing a new offensive in the east of the country.
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