Biden Called Putin "Butcher", Declared He 'Cannot Remain in Power'
U.S. President Joe Biden said Saturday that Russia's Vladimir Putin "cannot remain in power" after launching his brutal invasion of Ukraine, a message that White House swiftly appeared to have walked back, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.
“Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia, for free people refuse to live in a world of hopelessness and darkness... We will have a different future, a brighter future, rooted in democracy and principles, hope and light, of decency and dignity, of freedom, and possibilities,” Biden said during a speech in front of the Polish presidential palace in Warsaw, adding, “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power."
The White House backpedalled on the comment, noting that “the President’s point was that 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.”
In his turn, Michael McFaul, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, wrote in a tweet that Biden expressed what billions around the world and millions inside Russia also believe. "He did not say that the US should remove him from power. There is a difference."
Earlier in the day, when Biden was asked about Putin’s role in the devastation and carnage in places like the leveled city of Mariupol, Ukraine, the U.S, President didn’t hold back: “He’s a butcher.”
In his remarks. Biden spoke directly to the Russian people, looking at the camera in front of 750 to 1,000 people. The crowd was made up of a mix of Polish citizens, Ukrainian refugees and government officials from both countries, including Polish President Andrzej Duda, according to the White House.
“This war is not worthy of you, the Russian people. Putin can and must end this war. The American people will stand with you and the brave citizens of Ukraine who want peace,” Biden said.
"You, the Russian people, are not our enemy. I refuse to believe that you welcome the killing of innocent children and grandparents. Or that you accept hospitals" -he added, noting that Russian troops are stopping Ukrainians from fleeing and causing people to starve while they are trapped.
Biden also noted the courage of the Ukrainian people who are fighting back against the Russian forces in their country. “We’re seeing it once again today, the brave Ukrainian people showing that their power of many is greater than the will of any one dictator... In a simple message to the Ukrainian people, Biden added: “We stand with you. Period.”
Biden declared that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was democratically elected and called Putin’s claims that he is denazifying Ukraine cynical and obscene lies.
The president also said Putin’s actions in Ukraine are “not the actions of a great nation” and called on Russians who were alive during the USSR & heard of it from families to speak up.
“These are not memories of the past.. This is exactly what the Russian army is doing in Ukraine right now"
Biden pointedly placed the blame on Putin throughout his remarks, declaring, “It is Putin, it is Vladimir Putin who is to blame. Period.”
Swift and punishing costs are the only way towards Russia to change its course, the U.S. President said.