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Biden Addresses the Nation Regarding Russia's Attack on Ukraine

‘His intentions are much greater than Ukraine,’ the President said. ‘He intends to reestablish the Soviet Union.’

On Thursday, President Biden addressed the nation from the White House concerning the recent attack of Ukraine by Russian forces — an event he called “an act of war.”

The President called the attack “premeditated” and an unprovoked move to oppress and occupy Ukraine. He stated that the ongoing build-up of forces and predicted attack played out just as predicted by U.S. leadership. 

Biden noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin ignored every act of diplomacy before the Wednesday attack. He said this as a direct indicator of the intentions of the Russian leader. 

Biden stated that he would be imposing much more severe sanctions on Russia. The sanctions would include goods and trade imported from and exported to Russia. The intention is to create a direct financial penalty on the Russian government and nation. 

The President said that the U.S. government had cut off the Russian banking system, freezing more than $1 trillion in assets held in the United States. He stated that the financial sanctions also included the personal accounts of Russian elites, who also have money held in the U.S. 

President Biden further stated that the financial sanctions would directly impact the Russian economy, affecting all sectors of the nation’s businesses. The effects have already been felt in the country as the Russian Stock Market fell dramatically on Thursday. 

Further, he said that additional troops had been activated to aid Ukrainian allies and fortify troops in outlying nations. The U.S. would now deploy an additional 7,000 troops to Germany in hopes of making an impact in the ongoing attacks in Ukraine.  This is in addition to the 3,000 troops previously deployed by his administration before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The President said his administration was actively working to control the rising oil and natural gas cost, often provided from the European region. As oil has crossed $100 per barrel, Americans have felt the impact as gas prices continue to rise. 

Biden said that the nation was prepared to respond and protect the American people in the face of potential cyber-attacks by the Russian government. He said that his administration was ready to do anything necessary to guarantee the national security of Americans. 

Biden said that when the history of this era is written, “Putin’s decision would prove to make his nation weaker, and the rest of the world stronger.”

Concluding his address, the President moved forward by taking questions from the press. 

Reporters asked if the statement by Putin that those “in the west who would interfere would face consequences they have never seen in history” was a veiled threat of nuclear war. The President responded by saying that he has “no clue what Putin meant by that statement.” He said that he “does not know what Putin intends, he only knows what Putin has done.”

When asked if he underestimated Putin, Biden said, “his intentions are much greater than Ukraine. He intends to reestablish the Soviet Union.”

Biden was asked if he would personally sanction Putin, and if so, why not do that today. Biden responded by saying, “it is not a bluff; it is on the table.”

The President was asked if there was a “complete rupture” in U.S. and Russian relations, to which the President agreed. 

Finally, he was asked — if Putin moves into other nations — would the U.S. become actively involved in active warfare. The President responded by stating that we would be directly involved if it did occur. 

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