Biden also spoke directly to the Russian people in his speech, before turning back to Putin at the end.
â€œUkraine will never be a victory for Russia, for free people refuse to live in a world of hopelessness and darkness,â€ Biden said. â€œWe will have a different future, a brighter future, rooted in democracy and principle, hope and light, of decency and dignity of freedom and possibilities. For Godâ€™s sake, this man cannot remain in power.â€
A White House official clarified that Biden was not calling for â€œregime changeâ€ in his speech.â€
The presidentâ€™s point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region,â€ the official said. â€œHe was not discussing Putinâ€™s power in Russia, or regime change.â€
The president is on the final leg of a four-day trip to Brussels and Warsaw, with the war across the border from NATO allies at the top of his agenda.
â€œWe stand with you,â€ Biden said in an address at the Royal Castle in the Polish capital to around 1,000 attendees including Polish President Andrzej Duda and U.S. embassy staff. â€œPeriod.â€
â€œEvery generation has had to defeat democracyâ€™s moral foes. Thatâ€™s the way of the world. For the world is imperfect as we know. Where the appetites and ambitions of a few, seek to dominate the lives and liberty of many,â€ Biden said.
â€œTodayâ€™s fighting in Kyiv and Metropol and Kharkiv are the latest battles in a long struggle. … Over the last 30 years, the forces of autocracy have revived all across the globe. Its hallmarks are familiar ones, contempt for the rule of law, contempt for democratic freedom, contempt for the truth itself.â€
Biden also said there was â€œsimply no justification or provocation for Russiaâ€™s choice of war. … Itâ€™s nothing less than a direct challenge to the rule-based international order established since the end of World War II. And it threatens to return to decades of war that ravaged Europe before the international rule-based order was put in place. We cannot go back to that.â€
Speaking directly to the Russian people, Biden said: â€œThis is not who you are. This is not the future you deserve for your families and your children. Iâ€™m telling you the truth. This war is not worthy of you, the Russian people. Putin can and must end this war. The American people will stand with you.â€
Earlier, following a bilateral meeting with Duda at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Biden said Article 5 is a â€œsacred commitmentâ€ for the United States, referring to the article that treats an attack on one NATO nation as an attack on all NATO nations. â€œYour freedom is our freedom,â€ Biden added.
Biden said Putin was â€œcounting on a divided NATOâ€ â€” which Biden repeatedly has said has not happened â€” and that the U.S. and Poland need to stay in â€œconstant contact.â€
â€œAmericaâ€™s ability to meet its role in other parts of the world rests upon a united Europe and a secure Europe,â€ Biden said. â€œStability in Europe is critically important to the United States in terms of our interest not only in Europe, but around the world.â€
Biden also alluded to the â€œgreat sense of threatâ€ the Polish people are feeling from extensive Russian shelling just 10 miles from their border. Some 2 million Ukrainian refugees have fled across the western border to Poland.
On Saturday afternoon, Biden met with refugees, Polish officials and providers of humanitarian services at the PGE Narodowy Stadium in Warsaw. The president, who was wearing a mask, talked with World Central Kitchen chef Jose Andres while touring food tents in the stadium courtyard, according to pool reports. After talking with refugees, some from the devastated southeastern city of Mariupol, he called Putin â€œa butcher.â€
In Bidenâ€™s meeting with Duda, the two leaders discussed â€œour robust bilateral defense cooperation, US support for Europeâ€™s efforts to reduce its reliance on Russian energy and to meet our climate goals,â€ according to a White House readout.
Earlier Saturday, Biden joined Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a meeting at the Warsaw Marriott with Ukraineâ€™s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Defense Minister Oleskii Reznikov, where they discussed military, diplomatic and humanitarian goals. They also discussed â€œongoing actions to hold President Putin accountable for Russiaâ€™s brutal aggression, in coordination with our allies and partners, including through the new sanctions actions announced by the President in Brussels on March 24,â€ according to a White House readout.
Bidenâ€™s Warsaw tour came as Russia appeared to shift its aggressive focus from the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv to undertake a renewed effort to consolidate control in the disputed region of Donbas in the east, according to Russian and U.S. officials.
â€œWe think theyâ€™re trying to cut off the Donbas area,â€ a senior defense official told reporters at the Pentagon Friday, â€œthey are putting their priorities and their efforts in the east of Ukraine, and thatâ€™s where still there remains a lot of heavy fighting.â€
However, Biden on Saturday seemed to cast some doubt on that assessment. Asked by a reporter whether he thinks Russia has changed its strategy, he replied, â€œI am not sure they have.â€
The stalled Russian offensive in the north and west of Kyiv has been a major concern for the Kremlin, which has seen heavy troop losses and plummeting morale, according to U.S. officials. At the same time, Russia has intensified its assault on the northern city of Chernihiv and the western city of Lviv, some 40 miles from the Polish border, which on Saturday was the site of a Russian shelling of a fuel depot.
Polandâ€™s deputy foreign minister, Marcin Przydacz, on Saturday said Putin may be considering â€œkind of a face-saving exit strategy.â€
â€œRussia has not achieved its goals. It has not seized Kyiv, it has not changed the government of Ukraine,â€ the Associated Press reported. â€œAnd that is only because of the fact that the Ukrainian army is doing so well.â€
Biden is scheduled to return to Washington, D.C., later Saturday, departing from Warsawâ€™s Chopin Airport with a refueling stopover in Mildenhall, U.K.