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‘A tyrant bent on domination,’ Biden says of Putin during D-Day speech

by Chris York and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 6, 2024 6:33 PM 2 min read
U.S. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden walk with French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron while arriving at a ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day at the Normandy American Cemetery on June 6, 2024 in Colleville-sur-Mer, France. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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U.S. President Joe Biden used his speech at the 80th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy on June 6 to reaffirm support for Ukraine in its fight against a "tyrant bent on domination."

Speaking in front of 180 World War II veterans, Biden linked the struggle against the fascism of Nazi Germany with that of Kyiv's against Russia.

"We know the dark forces that these heroes fought against 80 years ago; they never fade," he said, adding: "Aggression and greed, the desire to dominate and control, to change borders by force — these are perennial. The struggle between dictatorship and freedom is unending."

Biden was speaking at the event marking the day on June 6, 1944, when 7,000 boats carrying nearly 160,000 troops from eight Allied countries landed on five Normandy beaches.

The landing was the starting point for the liberation of France, and eventually the rest of Western Europe, from Nazi Germany.

Biden said Ukraine was fighting a "tyrant bent on domination" in what was the "the test of ages," and insisted "NATO is more united than ever."

"Isolation was not the answer 80 years ago and is not the answer today," he added.

President Volodymyr Zelensky is also attending the event, joining French President Emmanuel Macron, U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, among other leaders and surviving veterans in attendance.

Zelensky said he was "very honored to take part" in the event, which serves as a "reminder of the courage and determination shown for the sake of freedom and democracy."

Macron is expected to preside over an international ceremony at 3 p.m. local time. World leaders will then gather in the nearby city of Caen for talks later in the day.

According to Politico, France initially invited a representative from Russia to take part in the commemoration due to the Soviet Union's role in the war against Nazi Germany, but this invitation was revoked after the U.S., U.K., and "two other World War II allies expressed concerns."

Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the D-Day commemorations in 2004 and again in 2014, months after Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and invasion of Donbas.

During this year's commemoration, Macron is reportedly expected to make an announcement on support for Kyiv. News emerged at the end of May that Paris could soon send its military trainers to Ukraine.

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