Biden is not calling for Russian regime change, White House clarifies- WAPO


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  • Amid bombs and gunfire, Ukrainian musicians bring classical music to the sheltered 1:07 a.m.
  • Here’s the status of Ukrainian cities under Russian attack 1:06 a.m.
  • Biden says Putin ‘cannot remain in power’ in forceful speech in Poland 1:04 a.m.

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Biden calls out Putin in speech on last day in Europe President Biden met with Polish President Andrzej Duda and Ukrainian refugees before his speech outside the Royal Castle in Warsaw on March 26. (Video: Joy Yi, Alexa Juliana Ard/The Washington Post, Photo: The Washington Post)

By Rachel Pannett

Today at 1:04 a.m. EDT|Updated today at 1:07 a.m. EDT

In a fiery speech marking the end of his European tour on Saturday, President Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “dictator,” saying, “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.” The unscripted remark at the end of a 27-minute speech reverberated around the world and sparked a terse response from the Kremlin. The White House later clarified that Biden wasn’t calling for a regime change — which would be a major reversal of U.S. policy — and meant only that Putin should not be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region.

A Kremlin spokesman told state news agencies that it is “not for Biden to decide. The president of Russia is elected by Russians.”

The Russian onslaught continued Saturday with two powerful rockets striking Lviv. The western Ukrainian city had been largely spared from attacks during the first month of the war, making it something of a haven for Western diplomats and others fleeing there from Kyiv and cities under heavy siege. Russian forces also entered Slavutych, a northern city of about 25,000 people that houses workers from the nearby Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Though occupied by Russian forces, Slavutych “remains a Ukrainian city, under Ukrainian flags,” the mayor said.

Here’s what to know

  • The strikes in Lviv came a day after Russia asserted that it had ended its first phase of the conflict, saying it would be shifting its attention to eastern Ukraine’s disputed territories. Pentagon intelligence also said that Russia had halted ground operations aimed at Kyiv. A U.S. think tank, however, expressed skepticism Saturday that Russia’s war aims have changed.
  • Ukrainian officials say their forces have killed seven generals on the battlefield. If true, the deaths of so many generals in one month, alongside more senior Russian army and naval commanders, exceeds the attrition rate seen in the worst months of the bloody nine-year war fought by Russia in Chechnya, as well as Russian and Soviet-era campaigns in Afghanistan, Georgia and Syria.
  • For weeks, the Ukrainian city of Chernihiv, north of the capital, has been under near-constant Russian attack, almost entirely cut off from power, water, food and gas amid constant artillery fire. One resident has shared with The Washington Post the daily struggles that he and others face.
  • The Washington Post has lifted its paywall for readers in Russia and Ukraine. Telegram users can subscribe to our channel for updates.

Biden is not calling for Russian regime change, White House clarifies

LATEST UPDATES

Biden calls out Putin in speech on last day in Europe
 
 
President Biden met with Polish President Andrzej Duda and Ukrainian refugees before his speech outside the Royal Castle in Warsaw on March 26. (Video: Joy Yi, Alexa Juliana Ard/The Washington Post, Photo: The Washington Post)
 

In a fiery speech marking the end of his European tour on Saturday, President Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “dictator,” saying, “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.” The unscripted remark at the end of a 27-minute speech reverberated around the world and sparked a terse response from the Kremlin. The White House later clarified that Biden wasn’t calling for a regime change — which would be a major reversal of U.S. policy — and meant only that Putin should not be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region.

 

A Kremlin spokesman told state news agencies that it is “not for Biden to decide. The president of Russia is elected by Russians.”

The Russian onslaught continued Saturday with two powerful rockets striking Lviv. The western Ukrainian city had been largely spared from attacks during the first month of the war, making it something of a haven for Western diplomats and others fleeing there from Kyiv and cities under heavy siege. Russian forces also entered Slavutych, a northern city of about 25,000 people that houses workers from the nearby Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Though occupied by Russian forces, Slavutych “remains a Ukrainian city, under Ukrainian flags,” the mayor said.

 

Here’s what to know

  • The strikes in Lviv came a day after Russia asserted that it had ended its first phase of the conflict, saying it would be shifting its attention to eastern Ukraine’s disputed territories. Pentagon intelligence also said that Russia had halted ground operations aimed at Kyiv. A U.S. think tank, however, expressed skepticism Saturday that Russia’s war aims have changed.
  • Ukrainian officials say their forces have killed seven generals on the battlefield. If true, the deaths of so many generals in one month, alongside more senior Russian army and naval commanders, exceeds the attrition rate seen in the worst months of the bloody nine-year war fought by Russia in Chechnya, as well as Russian and Soviet-era campaigns in Afghanistan, Georgia and Syria.
  • For weeks, the Ukrainian city of Chernihiv, north of the capital, has been under near-constant Russian attack, almost entirely cut off from power, water, food and gas amid constant artillery fire. One resident has shared with The Washington Post the daily struggles that he and others face.
  • The Washington Post has lifted its paywall for readers in Russia and Ukraine. Telegram users can subscribe to our channel for updates.
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