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Biden promises punishment for Putin, pledges to lessen impact on U.S.

“He thought he could roll into Ukraine and the world would roll over. Instead he met a wall of strength he never imagined. He met the Ukrainian people,” Biden said, a line that drew a standing ovation.

Biden touted efforts to provide Ukraine with military and economic assistance, which has topped $1 billion so far.

“He has no idea what’s coming,” Biden said of Putin, a line that was not included in his prepared remarks.

The United States and allies have ratcheted up sanctions against Putin, top Russian leaders and the country’s financial sector in recent days. Biden also noted the Justice Department will organize a task force to target Russian oligarchs.

“Tonight I say to the Russian oligarchs and corrupt leaders who have bilked billions of dollars off this violent regime no more,” Biden said. “We are joining with our European allies to find and seize your yachts, your luxury apartments, your private jets. We are coming for your ill-begotten gains.”

But Biden also conceded that the move would have an impact on Americans, particularly in spikes in gas prices. He pledged his administration would take steps to mitigate the harm to Americans, including working with 30 countries to free up 60 million barrels of oil from global reserves.

“To all Americans, I will be honest with you, as I’ve always promised. A Russian dictator, invading a foreign country, has costs around the world,” Biden said.

“I know the news about what’s happening can seem alarming. But I want you to know that we are going to be OK,” Biden said. “When the history of this era is written, Putin’s war on Ukraine will have left Russia weaker and the rest of the world stronger.”

Biden also touted the increased flow of weapons and economic assistance to Ukraine.

Since the Russian invasion, the U.S. has pledged an additional $350 million in military aid, including anti-tank Javelin missiles. On top of other European nations, Germany reversed longstanding policy to ship 1,000 anti-tank missiles and 500 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine.

The White House has also outlined another $6.4 billion in funding to posture U.S. troops in Europe and to provide security and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and allies on NATO’s eastern flank. Biden didn’t mention the request in his speech.

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