President Joe Biden speaks during an event at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland, March 26, 2022. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

President Biden said Russian president Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power” in a speech on the invasion of Ukraine on Saturday.

“Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia. For free people refuse to live in a world of hopelessness and darkness,” Biden said at the end of a speech at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland. They “have a different future, a brighter future, rooted in democracy and principle, hope and light, of decency and dignity and freedom and possibilities.”

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

‘For God’s sake, Putin cannot remain in power.’

President Joe Biden says ‘brutality will never grind down the will to be free’ and “Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia.”

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— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 26, 2022

A White House official issued a comment minutes later saying that Biden was not calling for regime change.

“The President’s point was Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region. He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change,” the official said.

Earlier in the address, Biden repeated a pledge to defend NATO allies. While Ukraine is not a member of the NATO alliance, Poland and the Baltic states on Russia’s border are members.

“Don’t even think about moving on one single inch of NATO territory,” Biden said. “We have a sacred obligation under Article 5 to defend each and every inch of NATO territory.”

Biden made his remarks after meeting with Ukrainian refugees and holding discussions with Ukrainian officials and Poland’s president Andrzej Duda.

During Biden’s visit, the city of Lviv in western Ukraine was targeted in an apparent missile strike. Lviv sits near the border with Poland and has been largely spared from fighting since the war began. While there were no confirmed casualties in the strikes, CNN reported that one strike hit a fuel storage facility, causing it to burst into flames.

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