Biden Rallies Congress With a Furious Rebuke of Putin in His First State of the Union

“Putin is more isolated from the world now than he has ever been.”

President Biden forcefully denounced Vladimir Putin during his first State of the Union address, outlining further steps to damage the Russian economy and declaring that, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the European Union this week, “Light will win over darkness.”

“Six days ago, Russia’s Vladimir Putin sought to shake the very foundations of the free world, thinking he could make it bend to his menacing ways,” Biden said. “He met with a wall of strength he never anticipated or imagined. He met with the Ukrainian people.”

Biden made some news tonight by announcing that the United States would close its airspace to all Russian flights, and that it would attempt to blunt gas prices by releasing 30 million barrels of oil from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve. “Putin is more isolated from the world now than he has ever been,” he said.

Biden also drew the audience’s attention to the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States, and—with a nod to the disabled community—asked the attendees to stand if they were able to. Many audience members wore yellow and blue, the colors of Ukraine’s flag.

In a striking moment of unity for a Congress that is often defined by bitter animosity, Biden’s call to stand with the people of Ukraine generated bipartisan applause:

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

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