Biden vows Russia will never see victory in Ukraine as Putin fights on

Wednesday February 22 2023
US President Joe Biden

US President Joe Biden delivering a speech at the Royal Warsaw Castle Gardens in Warsaw, Poland on February 21, 2023. He said support for war-torn Ukraine "will not waver" as he delivered a speech in Poland ahead of the first anniversary of Russia's invasion. PHOTO | WOJTEK RADWANSKI | AFP


US President Joe Biden vowed Russia will never see victory in Ukraine while delivering a major speech in Warsaw hours after Vladimir Putin said Russia would continue its nearly year-long military invasions.

Putin on Tuesday accused The West of escalating the conflict and announced The Kremlin would suspend participation in the New Start Nuclear Arms Treaty with Washington.

The Russian President said the increasing sanctions on the country would not succeed and vowed his country would keep fighting to "systematically" achieve its objectives.

Speaking hours later in the capital of Nato ally Poland, Biden pledged that the war with Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia.

The 80-year-old leader had a day earlier made a surprise visit to Kyiv, his first since the invasion began and just days before the war's one-year anniversary.

Surrounded by a flag-waving crowd outside Warsaw's Royal Castle, Biden responded directly to Putin's accusations, saying the West was not plotting to attack Russia.


He said Putin thought autocrats like himself were tough but unfortunately faced the "iron will" of the United States and its partners.

Biden added with no doubt that their support for Ukraine would not waver, Nato would not be divided, and they would not tire.

Biden earlier met Polish President Andrzej Duda, saying his visit had come "at a critical moment".

He also reaffirmed Washington's "iron-clad" commitment to Nato's principle of collective defence.

Duda appreciated US efforts of keeping the world order.

Russia’s approach on US

Putin's decision to suspend participation in The New START was met with widespread international condemnation, though Russia's foreign ministry later said Moscow would continue to comply with the treaty's restrictions in a "responsible approach".

The 2010 deal is the last remaining arms control treaty between the world's two main nuclear powers.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Russia's decision was "deeply unfortunate and irresponsible" but added that Washington was willing to talk about the issue.

Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the move meant that the whole arms control architecture had been dismantled.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky acknowledged Biden for his speech in a tweet, as well as America for their leadership in rallying the world in support of freedom and for their vital assistance to Ukraine.

Zelensky on Tuesday met another coalition partner, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in Kyiv.

While facing some pro-Russian sentiment in her right-wing ruling coalition, Meloni pledged that Rome "did not intend to waver" in its support for Ukraine.

She however said sending fighter jets which Zelensky argued were vital for ending the war was not on the table.

Critical moment

Biden on Wednesday is due to meet with the leaders of nine eastern Nato members who though staunch supporters of Ukraine, fear the war escalating.

When The Kremlin launched its Ukraine attacks, the so-called "special military operation" was planned to be a rapid conquest leading to capitulation and the installation of a pro-Russian regime.

Since then, Russia has been forced to give up ground but has kept up a barrage of drone and missile attacks, while the military and civilian death toll has spiralled.

Various Western sources estimate the conflict has caused 150,000 casualties on each side.

Zelensky on Tuesday blasted Russia for "mercilessly killing" civilians in the Southern City of Kherson as local officials reported at least five deaths following strikes there.

AFP reporters saw dead bodies covered with plastic sheets or foil blankets on the streets near a bus stop and a supermarket.

Kherson is the capital of one of the four regions, along with Donetsk, Lugansk and Zaporizhzhia that Russia claims to have annexed but has never fully controlled.

In Donetsk, Moscow's relentless struggle to capture the City of Bakhmut has exposed tensions between the Russian military and The Wagner Mercenary Group.

The Wagner leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, on Tuesday accused Russian military chiefs of refusing to sufficiently supply his group, saying this amounted to "treason".

Russia's defence ministry responded by detailing ammunition deliveries and denouncing "absolutely false" reports of shortages.

Getting out of control

China meanwhile said it was "deeply concerned" about the conflict, which it said was intensifying and even getting out of control.

Beijing sought neutrality in the war, while maintaining close ties with strategic ally Russia.

China's top Diplomat, Wang Yi, was in Moscow for talks, and due to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday.

“The Kremlin has said Wang may also meet Putin during his visit,” Russian News Agency TASS said.

Stoltenberg on Tuesday echoed US concerns that China could supply Russia with weapons to help pursue its campaign in Ukraine.

The Western allies worry they are falling behind in supplying enough shells for Kyiv's artillery to fend off a renewed Russian attack.