'Putin's lust for land and power will fail': Biden issues rallying cry to the West to stand by Ukraine

21 February 2023, 17:09 | Updated: 22 February 2023, 00:48

US President Joe Biden vowed that Vladimir Putin&squot;s "craven lust for land and power will fail" in a fiery keynote address to mark the first anniversary of Russia&squot;s invasion of Ukraine.
US President Joe Biden vowed that Vladimir Putin's 'craven lust for land and power will fail' in a fiery keynote address to mark the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Picture: Getty

By Emma Soteriou

US President Joe Biden vowed that Vladimir Putin's "craven lust for land and power will fail" in a fiery keynote address to mark the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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Mr Biden reminded crowds that "NATO is more united and unifed than ever before" however much Putin tries to divide the alliance.

He insisted that Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia, adding: "Kyiv stands strong, stands proud and stands tall. And most important, it stands free."

Mr Biden also dismissed Putin's claim made earlier at his state of the union address that Ukraine and the West started the war, saying: “The West is not plotting to attack Russia, as Putin said today."

He added that the millions of Russian citizens who desire only to live in peace with their neighbours "are not the enemy.”

Read more: Putin accuses the West of releasing 'genie from the bottle' and starting war in Ukraine

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Mr Biden also revealed that allies will announce more sanctions this week to "seek justice for the crimes against humanity committed by Russia".

But he also warned that Ukraine must prepare for "bitter days" ahead.

"We have to be honest and clear-eyed as we look at the year ahead," Mr Biden said outside the Royal Castle in Warsaw.

Joe Biden delivers the speech at the Royal Castle Gardens in Warsaw, Poland on February 21, 2023.
Joe Biden delivers the speech at the Royal Castle Gardens in Warsaw, Poland on February 21, 2023. Picture: Getty

He vowed to "have Ukraine's back" as it faced the upcoming challenges against Russia and reminded Russia that NATO's commitment to Article 5 is "rock solid".

It comes after Putin used his state of the nation address on Tuesday to accuse the West of ‘letting the genie out of the bottle’ and plunging the world into chaos.

He said Ukraine and the West started the war and Russia was “using force to stop it”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers his annual state of the nation address at the Gostiny Dvor conference centre in central Moscow on February 21, 2023.
The Russian leader said Ukraine and the West started the war and Russia was 'using force to stop it'. Picture: Getty
RUSSIA-UKRAINE-CONFLICT-POLITICS
RUSSIA-UKRAINE-CONFLICT-POLITICS. Picture: Getty

"Ukraine and Donbas have become a symbol of total lies," Putin said.

He accused the West of withdrawing from "fundamental agreements" and making "hypocritical statements" as well as expanding the NATO defence alliance to cover Russia “with an umbrella”.

Biden and Zelenskyy in Ukraine
Biden and Zelenskyy in Ukraine. Picture: Alamy

During his unannounced trip to Ukraine on Monday, Mr Biden made a $500m weapons pledge - with the US understood to be providing more rockets for HIMARS systems, and more anti-armour weapons to take out Russian tanks.

Mr Biden said at the time: "When Putin launched his invasion nearly one year ago, he thought Ukraine was weak and the West was divided. He thought he could outlast us. But he was dead wrong."

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In a joint address to the nation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy labelled Mr Biden's visit as "the most important visit of the whole history of US-Ukraine relations".

"I know there will be a very significant package of support to Ukraine...serving a clear signal that Russia's aggression has no chance," Mr Zelenskyy said.

"Ukraine is grateful to you, Mr President" he added.

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