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Biden takes aim at Putin in Poland​ speech

Addressing crowds in Warsaw, Poland, President Biden delivered a speech ahead of the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine. "When President Putin ordered his tanks to roll into Ukraine, he thought we would roll over," said Biden, adding, "Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia."

Video transcript

JOE BIDEN: When President Putin ordered his tanks to roll in Ukraine, he thought we would roll over. He was wrong. The Ukrainian people are too brave. America, Europe, a coalition of nations from the Atlantic to the Pacific, we were too unified. Democracy was too strong.

Instead of an easy victory he perceived and predicted, Putin left with burnt out tanks and Russia's forces in delay-- in disarray. He thought he'd get the Finlandization of NATO, instead he got the NATO'ization of Finland and Sweden.

[CHEERING]

He thought NATO would fracture and divide. Instead NATO is more united and more unified than ever, than ever before. He thought he could weaponize energy to crack your resolve, Europe's resolve. Instead we're working together to end Europe's dependence on Russian fossil fuels.

He thought autocrats like himself were tough and leaders of democracy were soft. And then he met the iron will of America and the nations everywhere to refuse to accept the world governed by fear and force. He found himself at war with a nation led by a man whose courage would be forged in fire and steel, President Zelenskyy.

President Putin, President Putin is confronted with something today that he didn't think was possible a year ago. The democracy of the world have grown stronger, not weaker, but the autocrats of the world have grown weaker, not stronger because in the moments of great upheaval and uncertainty, that knowing what you stand for is most important, and knowing who stands with you makes all the difference. The people of Poland know that, you know that. In fact, you know it better than anyone here in Poland.

We're seeing again today what the people of Poland and the people across Europe saw for decades. Appetites of the autocrat cannot be appeased. They must be opposed. Autocrats only understand one word, no, no, no.

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

No, you will not take my country. No, you will not take my freedom. No, you will not take my future.

And I'll repeat tonight what I said last year in this same place. 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. And Ukraine, Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia, never.

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]