Joe Biden says Western support for Ukraine 'will not tire' ahead of war anniversary

Biden said Putin was wrong to think Ukraine would 'roll-over' after the Russian president blamed the West for starting the conflict in Ukraine

By ITV News Multimedia Producer James Gray

Joe Biden has declared that Russia's invasion of Ukraine has only served to unite the West as the conflict approaches its one-year anniversary this week.

The US president was speaking outside the Royal Castle in Poland's capital, Warsaw, after making a symbolic trip to Kyiv, on Monday.

He inisisted that support from the West "will not waiver" as he praised the courage of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

"We are 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," he said.

"Autocrats only understand one word: no. No, no. No, you will not take my country. No, you will not take my freedom. No, you will not take my future."

President Biden added that Russian President Vladimir Putin was "wrong" to think the West would roll over in the face of Moscow's invasion, telling reporters: "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."

He also used his speech to direct a message to the people of Russia, saying the United States and its allies "do not seek to control or destroy Russia", instead describing the war as a "tragedy".

Later this week, Russia's invasion will pass its one-year milestone and President Biden warned that the months ahead will continue to be difficult for Ukrainians as they defend their country.

He added: "As Ukraine continues to defend itself against the Russian onslaught and launch a counteroffensive of its own, it will continue to be hard and very bitter days. Victories and tragedies."

President Biden concluded by saying that fighting for freedom is something that will always be difficult, but at the same time "always important".

President Putin claimed on Tuesday that Ukraine has become a 'hostage' to its 'Western masters'. Credit: AP

Earlier on Tuesday, President Putin held a state-of-the-nation address, where he rebuffed accusations that Russia was to blame for the Ukraine war, levelling responsibility at the West.

"We aren’t fighting the Ukrainian people," he said, claiming Ukraine "has become hostage of the Kyiv regime and its Western masters, which have effectively occupied the country".

He threatened to further stoke tensions by withdrawing Russia from the last remaining nuclear arms control pact with the US.

President Putin said Moscow would leave the New START Treaty and be ready to resume nuclear weapons tests should the US do the same.

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