Statement from President Joe Biden Ahead of the Second Anniversary of Russia’s Brutal Assault Against Ukraine

WASHINGTON, D.C. – February 23, 2024

Two years after Russia’s aggressive incursion into Ukraine, President Joe Biden issued a resolute statement today, emphasizing the miscalculations made by Vladimir Putin and announcing comprehensive measures to counter Russian aggression.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 23, 2024

Statement from President Joe Biden Ahead of the Two-Year Anniversary of Russia’s Brutal Assault Against Ukraine
 

Two years ago tomorrow, shortly before dawn, Russian missiles began exploding near the capital city of Kyiv. Russian troops marched across the border into Ukraine. Vladimir Putin’s vicious onslaught against Ukraine had begun. 
 
He believed that he could easily bend the will and break the resolve of a free people. That he could roll into a sovereign nation, and the world would roll over. That he could shake the foundations of security in Europe and beyond. 
 
Two years later, we see even more vividly what we’ve known since day one: Putin miscalculated badly.
 
The brave people of Ukraine fight on, unbowed in their determination to defend their freedom and future. NATO is stronger, larger, and more united than ever. And the unprecedented 50-nation global coalition in support of Ukraine, led by the United States, remains committed to providing critical assistance to Ukraine and holding Russia accountable for its aggression.
 
The American people and people around the world understand that the stakes of this fight extend far beyond Ukraine. Ten years ago, Putin occupied Crimea, and created puppet regimes in Ukraine’s Luhansk and Donetsk regions.  Two years ago, he tried to wipe Ukraine off the map.  If Putin does not pay the price for his death and destruction, he will keep going. And the costs to the United States—along with our NATO Allies and partners in Europe and around the world—will rise.
 
Today, I am announcing more than 500 new sanctions against Russia for its ongoing war of conquest on Ukraine and for the death of Aleksey Navalny, who was a courageous anti-corruption activist and Putin’s fiercest opposition leader. These sanctions will target individuals connected to Navalny’s imprisonment as well as Russia’s financial sector, defense industrial base, procurement networks and sanctions evaders across multiple continents. They will ensure Putin pays an even steeper price for his aggression abroad and repression at home.
 
We are also imposing new export restrictions on nearly 100 entities for providing backdoor support for Russia’s war machine. We are taking action to further reduce Russia’s energy revenues. And I’ve directed my team to strengthen support for civil society, independent media, and those who fight for democracy around the world.
 
Two years into this war, the people of Ukraine continue to fight with tremendous courage. But they are running out of ammunition. Ukraine needs more supplies from the United States to hold the line against Russia’s relentless attacks, which are enabled by arms and ammunition from Iran and North Korea. That’s why the House of Representatives must pass the bipartisan national security supplemental bill, before it’s too late.
 
This bill provides urgent funding for Ukraine. It also invests in America’s own defense industrial base. It passed overwhelmingly in the Senate, and there is no question that, if the Speaker called a vote, it would pass quickly in the House. Congress knows that by supporting this bill, we can strengthen security in Europe, strengthen our security at home, and stand up to Putin. Opposing this bill only plays into his hands.
 
History is watching. The failure to support Ukraine at this critical moment will not be forgotten. Now is the time for us to stand strong with Ukraine and stand united with our Allies and partners. Now is the time to prove that the United States stands up for freedom and bows down to no one.
 

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