On the evening of March 1, Putin miscalculated decision while members of Congress waved miniature blue and yellow Ukrainian flags, US President Joe Biden delivered his first State of the Union address with harsh words for his autocratic foes.
With Russian President Vladimir Putin stepping up raids on Ukrainian cities, including Kharkiv and Kyiv, Biden stepped in the House chamber and informed Americans that the free world was united in its opposition to Putin’s actions.
- Air Space of USA is closed for Russian flights.
- Biden’s speech was mainly focused on domestic concerns as his government was preparing for midterm elections about to be conducted in the Autumn.
“The civilized world is making him accountable.”
“Along with 27 European Union members, including France, Germany, Italy, and the Uk, Canada, Japan, and Korea. New Zealand, Australia, and many other countries, including Switzerland, inflict misery on Russia while supporting the Ukrainian people. Putin is more cut off from the rest of the world than he has ever been.”
He declared that Russian flights would be prohibited from entering US airspace immediately.
“Six days back, Russia’s Vladimir Putin endeavoured to rock the pillars of the free world in the hope of making it bend to his destructive ways,”
“It appears that both Major parties in the audience applauded his remarks regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin,”
he stated. However, he made a crucial calculation error.
He (Putin) believed that if he rolled into Ukraine, the entire world would fall apart. Instead, he ran against a wall of determination he had not anticipated. He met the people of Ukraine.
Biden stated that Kyiv is at the forefront of the global fight between democrats and autocrats and that democracy will triumph. Putin, he claimed, made a severe misjudgment while launching a military strike on his neighbour.
“He believed he could split us here in this chamber, in this country,”
“He believed he could also divide us in Europe. Putin, though, was mistaken. We’re all set. We’re all in this together, and that’s what we did.”
Biden said it would take a while, but the US and its Nato countries would remain united, and freedom will triumph over tyranny.
As if to reinforce the point, Ukraine’s ambassador to the US, Oksana Markarova, sat in the viewing box with first lady Jill Biden and earned a standing ovation.
The first lady had a small embroidered patch of a sunflower, Ukraine’s national flower, sewn into the wrist of her dark blue dress for the speech, according to the White House.
Washington has been paying close attention to the unfolding crisis in Ukraine in recent weeks.
The US and its NATO allies have imposed harsh sanctions against Russia, going to cause its currency and financial markets to plummet while also promising arms and ammunition to Ukraine’s government.
Biden repeatedly insisted that the US would not send troops to Kyiv. But promised that he and the other NATO members would defend NATO territory.
“The Ukrainians are going to put up a tremendous fight. However, they will have a terrible time in the following days, weeks, and months.”
Biden made no mention of the tumultuous military withdrawal last August. Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa, in her Republican reaction to Biden’s speech, slammed the president for what she labelled his failure in Iowa.
“The botched retreat from Afghanistan cost more than American lives; it humiliated our partners and empowered our adversaries,”
Reynolds told VOA.
Experts say it’s understandable that Biden dedicated his foreign policy section of the address to Ukraine, given the present crisis, even if much remains unsettled there.
“So now it’s a point when I think Biden has proven a lot of his knowledge and value thus far,” said Brian Katulis of the Mideast Institute. “But it all relies on how events turned out in Ukraine.”
Another analyst told VOA that Biden’s words on Ukraine garnered a solid positive, bipartisan response, noticed in Moscow.
“And that’s an essential signal in terms of foreign policy,”
said Michael Kimmage of the German Marshall Fund.
“Putin will be on the lookout for any form of weakness or divide in American politics. I believe that everyone in the meeting, not just Biden, realised that now was not ready to bring that signal.”
Edited By: Kiran Maharana
Published By: Shramana Sengupta