Biden’s Rivalry With Putin More Intense Than Ever

Following US President Joe Biden’s statement declaring Vladimir Putin a “butcher,” Putin’s missiles began raining down in Lviv, Ukraine.

The strikes sent black smoke and flames billowing into the air, injuring at least five people, it also struck  a fuel depot pierced on what had been relatively calm in the western hub city that had seen relatively little of the war that has engulfed the nation.

The target hardly appeared coincidental, CNN reports. Biden was 250 miles away, visiting Ukrainian refugees in bitter cold at Poland’s national stadium. He heard appeals from young mothers to pray for the men – husbands, fathers, brothers – they had left behind.

After Biden returned to his hotel, aides briefed Biden on the strikes in Lviv. A few hours later, hurled by heartache and anger, Biden walked into the courtyard of an old Polish castle to declare the Russian President “cannot remain in power.”

The last statements Biden would speak on his last-minute swing through Europe ended up being the most consequential, echoing widely as Air Force One left for Washington.

Biden left Europe more directly at odds with Putin than ever.

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