United States President Joe Biden announced new, harsher sanctions against Russia on Thursday in response to the country’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
“Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war. And now he and his country will bear the consequences,” Biden said as he announced new sanctions that will “impose a severe cost on the Russian economy, both immediately and over time.”
The new measures will include export blocks on technology, a move aimed to greatly restrict Russia’s advancement of its military and aerospace sector. He has also implemented sanctions on Russian banks and “corrupt billionaires” aligned with the Kremlin.
The President also maintained that while US troops will not be part of the conflict, there will be a deployment of ground and air forces to secure NATO’s eastern allies:
“Our forces are not and will not be engaged in the conflict. our forces are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine but to defend our NATO allies and reassure those allies in the east.”
Biden spoke from the White House East Room, declaring that “Putin’s actions betray a sinister vision for the future of our world, one where nations take what they want by force,” adding that Putin’s actions would “end up costing Russia dearly, economically and strategically.”
Russia launches full-scale invasion of Ukraine
Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine early on Thursday, starting a war with the European nation. Vladimir Putin announced the military operation into Ukraine at 5:55 am Moscow time – and minutes later the first shells and missiles were launched into Ukraine.
In the capital of Kyiv, a war siren has gone off, and pictures show streams of cars clogging up an expressway as people flee the city.
As Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, lines of cars moved out of the capital, Kyiv, many heading west and hoping to find safety in parts of the country closer to Poland and NATO troops.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 24, 2022
Social media testimonies speak to a growing sense of panic, with some saying they are being rushed into bomb shelters and into basements. Television footage has showed people praying in the streets, huddled in groups.
A 19-year-old Greek woman living in Kyiv, Ukraine described scenes of chaos. The woman, who only gave her first name Nikki, appealed for help through Greek Reporter, saying that she “is really scared.”
“I want to live, I want peace,” she says. “They tell us not to panic and be calm but it’s very difficult. We do not know what will happen from one minute to the next,” Nikki says.
The Ukrainian armed forces has posted a statement saying that Russian military began “intensive shelling” of its units in the east of the country.
Ukraine army base reportedly hit in Vinnitsiya region pic.twitter.com/QAx3vJoys8
— Alec Luhn (@ASLuhn) February 24, 2022