On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s military forces and intelligence services to invade Ukraine. Putin calculated that Russia’s army could once again breach Ukraine’s borders with little more repercussion than condemnation by the world, despite the United States’ and its Allies’ and partners’ promises of swift and severe consequences, and following extensive diplomatic efforts to discuss Russia’s security concerns. Putin calculated wrong.
“Vladimir Putin sought to shake the foundations of the free world, thinking he could make it bend to his menacing ways. But he badly miscalculated. He thought he could roll into Ukraine and the world would roll over,” said President Joe Biden in his State of the Union Address on March 1. “He thought the West and NATO wouldn’t respond. And he thought he could divide us at home. Putin was wrong. We were ready.”
“We prepared extensively and carefully. We spent months building a coalition of other freedom-loving nations from Europe and the Americas to Asia and Africa to confront Putin.”
“We shared with the world in advance what we knew Putin was planning and precisely how he would try to falsely justify his aggression,” said President Biden. “We countered Russia’s lies with truth. And now that he has acted, the free world is holding him accountable.”
“We are cutting off Russia’s largest banks from the international financial system. Preventing Russia’s central bank from defending the Russian Ruble making Putin’s $630 Billion ‘war fund’ worthless. We are choking off Russia’s access to technology that will sap its economic strength and weaken its military for years to come.”
We are closing off American air space to all Russian flights, further isolating Russia, and further squeezing their economy. We are targeting Russian oligarchs and corrupt leaders, coming after their ill-gotten gains. And at the same time, we are boosting the Ukrainian people as they heroically fight back against the Russian invasion.
“Together with our allies we are providing support to the Ukrainians in their fight for freedom. Military assistance. Economic assistance. Humanitarian assistance. We are giving more than $1 Billion in direct assistance to Ukraine. And we will continue to aid the Ukrainian people as they defend their country and to help ease their suffering.”
“Throughout our history we’ve learned this lesson-- when dictators do not pay a price for their aggression they cause more chaos,” said President Biden. “Putin has unleashed violence and chaos. But while he may make gains on the battlefield – he will pay a continuing high price over the long run.”