President Joe Biden remarked that Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power,” during a speech from Poland on Saturday. Biden has previously referred to the Russian leader as a “murderous dictator” and a “war criminal.”

“A dictator, bent on rebuilding an empire, will never erase the people’s love for liberty,” Biden concluded his speech. “Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia, for free people refuse to live in a world of hopelessness and darkness.”

“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” Biden added.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Afterward, a White House official clarified that Biden did not mean to insinuate that the United States would be involved in regime change in Russia and that Biden was making the point that Putin “cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region.”

In addition to his speech, Biden spent his three-day stint in Europe meeting with Ukrainian refugees who have fled following Russia’s invasion. He’s also spoken with U.S. troops stationed in Rzeszow.

Elsewhere in his speech, Biden addressed the people of Russia directly: “This is not the future you deserve for your families and children. I’m telling you the truth, this war is not worthy of you, the Russian people.”

[Via]

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