Update(2:17pmET): Among the most important parts of Biden's speech was his vowing that US troops would not engage Russia in Ukraine - but while also reemphasizing that the United States would defend NATO soil, at a moment additional US troops are going to Germany, and as more US fighter jets deploy to allied Baltic states to protect NATO territory.
Crucially direct sanctions on Putin himself are not currently on the table, and it's now clear that disconnecting Russia from SWIFT is not part of the fresh measures as well. “Putin will be a pariah on the international stage,” Biden said, and warned that Russia's allies will be “stained by association”.
President Biden: "This aggression cannot go unanswered. If it did, the consequences for America would be much worse. America stands up to bullies. We stand up for freedom. This is who we are." pic.twitter.com/cXTN5Xltah— CSPAN (@cspan) February 24, 2022
“When the history of this era is written, Putin’s choice to make a totally unjustifiable war on Ukraine will have left Russia weaker and the rest of the world stronger,” Biden said. Some of the actions include...
- BIDEN IMPOSING STRONG SANCTIONS, NEW LIMITS ON RUSSIA
- BIDEN: IMPACT ON U.S., ALLIES WILL BE MINIMIZED
- BIDEN: PUTIN IS THE AGRESSOR
- BIDEN: RUSSIA ABILITY TO DEAL IN YENS, EUROS TO BE LIMITED *BIDEN: SANCTIONING RUSSIA BANKS
- BIDEN: WILL BLOCK FOUR MAJOR RUSSIA BANKS
- BIDEN: ADDING SANCTIONS ON RUSSIAN ELITES
- BIDEN: WILL CUT OFF SOME OF RUSSIA IMPORTS
- BIDEN SAYS ESTIMATE SANCTIONS WILL CUT OFF MORE THAN HALF OF RUSSIA'S HIGH-TECH IMPORTS
- BIDEN SAYS U.S. FORCES WILL NOT FIGHT IN UKRAINE
- BIDEN: AUTHORIZING ADDITIONAL FORCES TO GERMANY
- BIDEN: SWIFT ALWAYS AN OPTION, RIGHT NOW NO PLAN TO USE
- PENTAGON ORDERS ADDITIONAL DEPLOYMENT OF ABOUT 7,000 TO EUROPE
- UKRAINE HEALTH MINISTER SAYS 57 KILLED AND 169 WOUNDED TODAY
The Q&A portion with the press included this epic exchange on the US domestic impact with FOX's correspondent:
DOOCY TIME: "Markets are down and gas prices are up. I know you always stress the difference between Wall Street and main street, but everybody seems to be in for some economic pain. How economically painful is it going to get for people in this country?" pic.twitter.com/p9ky97KZE2— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) February 24, 2022
And more via breaking Bloomberg wires:
- Western Allies See Kyiv Falling to Russian Forces Within Hours (7:54 p.m.)
- Kyiv may fall to Russian forces tonight as Ukraine’s air defenses have been effectively eliminated, according to a senior Western intelligence official.
- Russian troops are advancing toward Ukraine down both sides of the Dnieper river and look set to take the capital, the official said.
Below: up close shot of Russian special forces taking a Ukrainian airport...
Breaking: @mchancecnn with Russian forces at the Antonov airport about 15 miles outside of Kyiv. "These troops you can see over here, they are Russian airborne forces. They have taken this airport" pic.twitter.com/SnvmwQ1GeA— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) February 24, 2022
* * *
President Biden will address the nation in the world in his first televised comments since the 5am (Kiev time) large-scale air and ground Russian-Belarussian invasion of Ukraine. Given that obviously Putin was completely undeterred by Biden's meager and minimal "first tranche" of sanctions announced earlier, the president is now vowing the 'toughest sanctions ever'. The big question remains: will Biden hit Vladimir Putin with sanctions personally? Will the West move to cut off Russia from the SWIFT payment system?
President Biden took to Twitter before the address...
This morning, I met with my G7 counterparts to discuss President Putin’s unjustified attack on Ukraine and we agreed to move forward on devastating packages of sanctions and other economic measures to hold Russia to account. We stand with the brave people of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/dzvYxj7J9w— President Biden (@POTUS) February 24, 2022
Watch Live (remarks originally scheduled for 12:30ET were moved to 1:30ET - with more delays possible):
To review what's on the table, CNN writes: "Set to address the nation Thursday afternoon, Biden is expected to unveil new measures that could cut off Russia from advanced technology, announce new restrictions on large financial institutions and slap sanctions on additional members of the inner circle of Russian President Vladimir Putin."
According to the breaking news wires, the UK has been the first to act among Western allies, rolling out with these initial serious measures:
- RUSSIA TO BE BARRED FROM RAISING SOVEREIGN DEBT IN U.K. MARKETS
- U.K. TO FREEZE ASSETS OF RUSSIA'S VTB BANK IMMEDIATELY
- U.K. BLOCKS RUSSIAN COMPANIES FROM RAISING FINANCE IN LONDON
- UK TO BAN AEROFLOT AIRCRAFT FROM LANDING IN UK
- U.K. IMPOSES SANCTIONS ON OVER 100 RUSSIA INDIVIDUALS, ENTITIES
- JOHNSON: BANNING EXPORT OF HIGH-TECH COMPONENTS TO RUSSIA
Concerning UK actions, there's no mention of SWIFT - strongly suggesting this isn't on the White House menu of punitive measures at this point.
The big question will remain: will Biden hit Vladimir Putin with sanctions personally?
Putin has previously said he would consider such a direct move against a sitting head of state 'an act of war'. Meanwhile, could there be a lull in the fierceness of Russian military action by day's end?
RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY SAYS IT ACHIEVED ALL ITS GOALS FOR THURSDAY - IFAX
Here's what Ukraine is tentatively demanding, issued in the opening hours of the all-out assault:
The world must act immediately. Future of Europe & the world is at stake. To do list:— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) February 24, 2022
1. Devastating sanctions on Russia NOW, including SWIFT
2. Fully isolate Russia by all means, in all formats
3. Weapons, equipment for Ukraine
4. Financial assistance
5. Humanitarian assistance
All this as the US is reportedly moving fighter jets into Baltic NATO ally states. While this is to be expected given airspace over the Baltics is routinely monitored by NATO fighters, it brings the US a bit closer to the possibility of tangling with Russian fighters in the region.
Finally, we wonder just what the Biden administration feels about this conversation that former president Trump had about Germany being 'owned' by Russia...
I know CNN & MSNBC never aired this, so I figured I would. Spot on, don't you think? pic.twitter.com/6V1vRKxP8p— Justin Pulitzer Trades 🍊 (@JustinPulitzer) February 24, 2022
Certainly makes imposing those "tough" sanctions a lot harder eh!