Biden delivered remarks on the united effort to support the people of Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion.
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The U.S. president’s visit to Europe comes amid weeks of relentless violence in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion weeks ago. The former-Soviet nation is not part of NATO, but has received war and humanitarian aid from the U.S. and nations around the world, especially its neighbor Poland.
Millions of refugees have fled Ukraine into Poland and other nearby countries over the last several weeks.
Some of the women and children told Biden that they fled without their husbands and fathers, men of fighting age who were required to remain behind to aid the resistance against the forces that Russian President Vladimir Putin — “a butcher,” in Biden’s words — sent into Ukraine more than a month ago.
“What I am always surprised by is the depth and strength of the human spirit,” Biden told reporters after his conversations with the refugees at the stadium, which more recently had served as a field hospital for COVID-19 patients. “Each one of those children said something to the effect of, ‘Say a prayer for my dad or grandfather or my brother who is out there fighting.”
The president, who was set to return to Washington later in the day, tried to use his final hours of his European trip reassuring Poland that the United States would defend against any attacks by Russia as he acknowledged that the NATO ally bore the burden of the refugee crisis from the war.
Before leaving Poland, Biden was to deliver an address expected to focus on the difficult path ahead as U.S. and Western allies continue to assist Ukraine and prod Russia to end its invasion.
“Your freedom is ours,” Biden told Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda earlier, echoing one of that country’s unofficial mottos.