Alexander Vindman Rallies Behind Biden After Historic Poland Speech

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Ret. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who is originally from Ukraine but has long since been a citizen of the United States, was paying close attention to a speech President Joe Biden gave in Warsaw this Saturday regarding the ongoing war in Ukraine, where Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s forces recently invaded. In his remarks, Biden cast the struggle in Ukraine as an existential fight over the future of democracy to which the United States was firmly committed. Putin’s ongoing assault on Ukraine threatens the lives of the people there and their fundamental freedom. Among other specific points, Biden also reiterated the commitment of the U.S. to participating in the defense of NATO territory — and said Putin must not remain “in power.” Vindman touted Biden’s speech in a post on Twitter, poignantly commenting as follows:

‘This was an historical speech for [Biden]. Like Kennedy’s Berlin Speech, this is the one Biden will be remembered for. Biden laid down a marker that the US will defend its allies & democracy. I’m proud of my POTUS & his powerful leadership during a climactic battle for democracy.’

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In the weekend speech, Biden said, among other things: “Notwithstanding the brutality of Vladimir Putin, let there be no doubt that this war has already been a strategic failure for Russia. Having lost children myself, I know that’s no solace to the people who’ve lost family. But he, Putin, thought Ukrainians would roll over and not fight… Instead, Russian forces have met their match with brave and stiff Ukrainian resistance. Rather than breaking Ukrainian resolve, Russia’s brutal tactics have strengthened their resolve. Rather than driving NATO apart, the West is now stronger and more united than it has ever been… In fact, Russia has managed to cause something I’m sure [Putin] never intended: the democracies of the world are revitalized with purpose and unity found in months that would have once taken years to accomplish.”

Russia has apparently sustained steep losses in personnel and equipment during fighting in Ukraine. As previously reported on this site, Russia has lost multiple generals in the war, including one that was apparently wiped out after Ukrainians intercepted communications revealing his position. As recapped by The New York Times, “Two American military officials said that many Russian generals are talking on unsecured phones and radios. In at least one instance, they said, the Ukrainians intercepted a general’s call, geolocated it, and attacked his location, killing him and his staff.” Other high-profile losses for Russian invaders include at least 15 military commanders and a warship called the Orsk that was recently taken out by Ukrainian defenders near Berdyansk. The U.S. Defense Department recently concluded Russia’s invading forces had for the first time fallen beneath 90 percent of their original “combat power.” Additionally, hundreds of Russian tanks have been lost and thousands of individual Russian troops have apparently died in Ukraine, although the Putin regime has only acknowledged the deaths of a little over 1,300 Russian soldiers in the war.

UPDATE: According to a White House official, regarding Biden’s discussion of Putin remaining in power (or not): “The President’s point was that 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.”

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