The US president issued a direct message to the Russian people during a major speech from Warsaw.
26 March 2022
Joe Biden directly appealed to the Russian people with comparisons between the invasion of Ukraine and the horrors of the Second World War as he called for Vladimir Putin to go.
“For God’s sake this man cannot remain in power,” the US president said, calling for regime change in Moscow during a speech from Poland on Saturday.
He told Russians they are not “our enemy” as he evoked the atrocities of the siege of Leningrad by the Nazis and made an impassioned defence of democracy.
“These are not the actions of a great nation,” Mr Biden said, in front of the Royal Castle, a landmark in Warsaw that was badly damaged during Adolf Hitler’s war.
“Of all people, you the Russian people, as well as all people across Europe still have the memory of being in a similar situation in the 30s and 40s, the situation of World War Two, still fresh in the mind of many grandparents in the region.”
“Whatever your generation experienced, whether it experienced the siege of Leningrad, or heard about it from your parents and grandparents, train stations overflowing with terrified families fleeing their homes, nights sheltering in basements and cellars, mornings sifting through the rubble in your home – these are not memories of the past – not any more, it’s exactly what the Russian army is doing in Ukraine right now.”