On Tuesday night, under the backdrop of rising tensions surrounding the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Joe Biden delivered his State of The Union address, showcasing a sense of unity among the Congress.
In his address, Biden sharply criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin and led a standing ovation for the embattled Ukrainian people. He then declared that he and all members of Congress, whatever their political differences, are joined “with an unwavering resolve that freedom will always triumph over tyranny.” It was a notable show of unity after a long year of bitter acrimony between Biden’s Democratic coalition and the Republican opposition.
Biden highlighted the bravery of Ukrainian defenders and the commitment of a newly reinvigorated Western alliance that has worked to rearm the Ukrainian military and cripple Russia’s economy through sanctions. He warned of costs to the American economy, as well, but warned ominously that without consequences, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression wouldn’t be contained to Ukraine.
“Throughout our history, we’ve learned this lesson – when dictators do not pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos,” Biden said. “They keep moving. And, the costs and threats to America and the world keep rising.”
Furthermore, Biden highlighted that US forces will not be deployed to Ukraine and that all Russian aircraft and airlines will be blocked from entering the country effective Wednesday.
He also said the Justice Department was launching a task force to go after crimes of Russian oligarchs, whom he called “corrupt leaders who have bilked billions of dollars off this violent regime. We are coming for your ill-begotten gains,” he said, pledging that the U.S. and European allies were coming after their yachts, luxury apartments, and private jets.