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Biden vows Putin, Russian military will suffer in years ahead

Randy Mancini 7 Mar 1
U.S. President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington
US President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union Address before lawmakers in the US Capitol in Washington, DC, U.S., March 1, 2022. Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via REUTERS

March 2, 2022

By Trevor Hunnicutt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday vowed that Russia’s Vladimir Putin will pay over the long run even if he makes gains on the battlefield in Ukraine.

“While he may make gains on the battlefield – he will pay a continuing high price over the long run,” Biden said in his State of the Union address.

“He has no idea what’s coming,” the U.S. president said.

He spoke to Congress on the sixth day of Russia’s invasion of its European neighbor and as Kyiv stared down a miles-long armored Russian column potentially preparing to take over the Ukrainian capital.

In the prime time speech, Biden announced a new step banning Russian flights from using American airspace.

He also signaled steps to hobble Russia’s military in the future, even as he acknowledged it could see more gains in the coming hours. “We are choking off Russia’s access to technology that will sap its economic strength and weaken its military for years to come,” he said.

“When the history of this era is written Putin’s war on Ukraine will have left Russia weaker and the rest of the world stronger,” he said.

Biden, who spoke earlier in the day with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has rejected direct U.S. military participation on the ground in Ukraine.

But the U.S. government has shared intelligence on Russia’s operations and led the world in imposing a historic set of economic sanctions on Putin’s government, allies and the country’s largest banks, sending the currency into freefall.

Nearly a week since Russian troops poured over the border, they have not captured a single major Ukrainian city after running into far fiercer resistance than they expected.

(Reporting by Makini Brice and Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Howard Goller)