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Biden to arrives to deliver a speech marking the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the Royal Castle Gardens in Warsaw. Alamy Stock Photo

'Kyiv stands strong': Biden addresses crowds in Poland ahead of first anniversary of Ukraine invasion

Biden told crowds in Warsaw that US support for Ukraine ‘will not waver’.

LAST UPDATE | 21 Feb 2023

US PRESIDENT JOE Biden declared that Ukraine’s capital Kyiv remained “free” during a visit to Poland ahead of the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Kyiv stands strong, Kyiv stands proud, it stands tall and most importantly it stands free,” Biden told a crowd gathered outside the Royal Castle in Warsaw.

He added that US support for wartorn Ukraine “will not waver”.

“There should be no doubt: our support for Ukraine will not waver, NATO will not be divided and we will not tire,” Biden said to the Warsaw crowd. 

Biden also rebuked claims that were made by Russian president Vladimir Putin during a state-of-the-nation address Putin delivered this morning.

Putin accused the West of being “completely” responsible for escalation of the conflict and claimed the West wants “to be done with Russia”.

However, Biden said the West was not planning an attack on Russia.

“The West is not plotting to attack Russia as Putin said today,” said Biden.

“Millions of Russian citizens who only want to live in peace with their neighbours are not the enemy.”

Biden also said that Putin thought he was “tough” but then met the “iron will of America”.

He told the Warsaw crowd: “He [Putin] thought autocrats like himself were tough and leaders of democracy were soft and then he met the iron will of America and nations everywhere that refused to accept a world governed by fear.

Biden added that Ukraine would “never be a victory for Russia”.

“A dictator bent on rebuilding an empire will never be able to ease the people’s love of liberty, brutality will never grind down the will of the free. Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia — never.”

Before his speech, Biden met Polish President Andrzej Duda as he began a series of consultations with allies to prepare for an even more complicated stage of Russia’s invasion.

“We have to have security in Europe,” Biden said at the presidential palace in Warsaw. “It’s that basic, that simple, that consequential.”

He described Nato as “maybe the most consequential alliance in history”, and said it is “stronger than it’s ever been” despite Putin’s hopes that it would fracture over the war in Ukraine.

Duda praised the American leader’s unannounced visit to Kyiv as “spectacular”, saying it “boosted morale of Ukraine’s defenders”.

He said the visit was “a sign that the free world, and its biggest leader, the president of the United States, stands by them”.

Tomorrow, Biden plans to meet Mr Duda again along with other leaders of the Bucharest Nine, a group of the eastern-most members of the Nato military alliance.

© AFP 2023 and with additional reporting from Press Association.  

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