Biden warns Russia of "further consequences" after Putin declaration
President Biden issued a statement on Wednesday night condemning Russia's President Vladimir Putin's announcement of a "special military operation" in Ukraine moments before Ukrainian cities were bombarded by Russian missile strikes.
Details: Biden promised Ukraine President Zelensky in a phone call additional U.S. support and that "our allies and partners will be imposing severe sanctions on Russia," according to a White House readout.
- "The prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces," Biden said.
- "President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering," he added.
"Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable."— President Biden
What to expect: Biden said he would be monitoring the situation in Ukraine from the White House on Wednesday night and would continue to get regular updates from his national security team.
- He will meet with other G7 leaders on Wednesday morning and "then speak to the American people to announce the further consequences the United States and our Allies and partners will impose on Russia for this needless act of aggression against Ukraine and global peace and security," Biden continued.
- "We will also coordinate with our NATO allies to ensure a strong, united response that deters any aggression against the alliance. Tonight, Jill and I are praying for the brave and proud people of Ukraine," he added.
What they're saying:
House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said in a statement the U.S. would "always stand with" the people of Ukraine. "This begins by moving swiftly beyond the significant sanctions already announced by the Biden administration to fully cutting off Russia’s leading financial institutions from the global economy and ending Europe’s dependence on Russian oil for good," he said.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe, said in a statement: "Every option must be placed on the table to stop Putin's malevolence that not only threatens Ukraine and Eastern Europe, but the security of all liberal democracies around the globe. Putin chose a path to war, and he must now suffer the consequences. ... Our response to Putin must be in lockstep with our allies."
The top Republicans on the House Armed Services, Foreign Affairs and Intelligence committees said in a joint statement they "stand resolute with the Ukrainian people" and that the attack had "laid bare for the world to witness the true evil that is Vladimir Putin."
- "Every drop of Ukrainian and Russian blood spilled in this conflict is on Putin’s hands, and his alone," said Reps. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas).
"In response, we are committed to enacting the strongest possible sanctions and export controls to cripple Russia’s ability to make war, punish its barbarity and relegate the Putin regime to the status of an international pariah. We cannot respond like we did in 2008 or 2014. The world must never forget or forgive this heinous act."— Reps. Turner, Rogers and McCaul
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement, "The Biden administration needs to quickly and significantly ramp up sanctions on Russia, and they need to hurt."
In photos: Russia launches major military assault on Ukraine cities
Editor's note: This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.