Follow the latest updates on the US’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
President Joe Biden is preparing to address the nation about the escalating crisis in Oekraïne after he vowed to hold Rusland “accountable” for the “unprovoked and unjustified attack” that has so far left around 40 soldiers and 10 civilians dead and has sent global markets plunging.
The president is expected to speak at 12pm ET on Thursday where he will unveil a series of sanctions against Moscow including further restrictions on banks and Russian President Vladimir Poetin’s inner circle.
Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday morning with a series of missile attacks across the nation including close to the capital Kiev.
The attacks came just minutes after Mr Putin announced he was launching a “special military operation” in the country.
Mr Biden said in a statement that the US and its Allies and partners would respond “in a united and decisive way” to the “premeditated war” waged by Russia.
He later said he had spoken with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and “briefed him on the steps we are taking to rally international condemnation” ahead of meeting with the leaders of the G7 on Thursday morning about the “severe sanctions” on Russia.
ICYMI: What we know so far about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Russia launched a “full-scale invasion” of Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday morning, in a series of ongoing attacks that have left dozens of troops and civilians dead.
President Vladimir Putin announced in a televised statement that Russia was carrying out a “special military operation” in Ukraine just before 6am local time.
Minute later, explosions and airstrikes rocked several cities, including the capital Kiev, as the country came under attack from three sides of the east, north and south by Russian troops.
Ukrainian officials said that at least 40 troops and around 10 civilians had been killed so far while several reports of fatalities continue to emerge.
NATO allies are implementing new rounds of sanctions on Russia in support of Ukraine, while civilians are desperately trying to flee the place they call home.
Read the full story here:
Meer as 40 people have already been killed
Bipartisan group of lawmakers asks Biden to seek congressional approval before sending US troops into Ukraine
A bipartisan group of lawmakers have urged Mr Biden to seek congressional approval before sending US troops into Ukraine.
In a rare show of solidarity, 43 US lawmakers including progressive Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cori Bush and Donald Trump Republican allies Matt Gaetz and Paul Gosar signed a letter to the president on Tuesday.
Daarin, they ask that Mr Biden consults with Congress if he plans to station any US troops in Ukraine or to have US troops “engage in hostilities” between Ukraine and Russia.
“To date, you have rejected calls to station US armed forces in Ukraine, stating such an effort is ‘not on the table’,” the letter read.
“Maar, if the ongoing situation compels you to introduce the brave men and women of our military into Ukraine, their lives would inherently be put at risk if Russia chooses to invade.
“Therefore, we ask that your decisions comport with the Constitution and our nation’s laws by consulting with Congress to receive authorisation before any such deployment.”
The letter added: “The American people, through their representatives in Congress, deserve to have a say before U.S. troops are placed in harm’s way or the US becomes involved in yet another foreign conflict.”
Mr Biden has said on multiple occasions that US troops will not enter Ukraine to defend the country against Russia.
Ukraine is a US ally but is not a member of NATO so the NATO countries are not required to defend it from attack.
The US does have troops stationed in Europe and has been deploying troops to nations bordering Ukraine to shore up their defences this week.
What sanctions is Biden expected to roll out now?
The president is expected to announce a new wave of sanctions on Russia when he addresses the US public at 12:30pm ET.
These measures are expected to include new sanctions on large Russian banks, restrictions on Mr Putin’s inner circle and cutting the nation off from advanced technology.
Op Dinsdag, Mr Biden introduced what he said would be “a first tranche” of sanctions on two large Russian state-owned banks, Russia’s sovereign debt and several Russian elites and their families who have close ties to the Kremlin.
Op daardie stadium, he warned that any Russian financial institutions could be a target for further restrictions.
Only third of Americans approved of Biden’s handling of Russia before invasion
Only around one third of Americans approved of Mr Biden’s handling of the escalating situation with Russia in the lead-up to its invasion of Ukraine, according to a new poll.
A survey from Gallup, from February 1 aan 17, found that just 36 per cent of Americans said they approved of the way the president is handling the situation in Ukraine, terwyl 55 per cent said they disapproved.
The poll also found that just 40 per cent of Americans approved of his handling of foreign affairs.
The low show of confidence came just days before Russia mounted a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Nou, all eyes are on Mr Biden as he prepares to unveil a new wave of sanctions on Russia in an address to the US public Thursday afternoon.
What sanctions has the US already introduced on Russia?
Op Dinsdag, Mr Biden unveiled what he said would be “a first tranche” of sanctions on Russia and warned that more would follow if Russia continued with its invasion of Ukraine.
The measures included sanctions on two large Russian banks, “comprehensive sanctions” against Rusland’s sovereign debt and sanctions on several Russian elites and their families who have close ties to the Kremlin.
Mr Biden said the US was imposing “full blocking sanctions” on VEB.RF – formerly known as Vnesheconombank – and Russia’s “military bank”, freezing their assets in the US, preventing them from conducting any transactions with the US or Europe and shutting them out of the global financial system.
The two state-owned banks are crucial to financing the Kremlin and the Russian military and combined hold more than $80 billion in assets, the president said.
The sanctions against Russia’s sovereign debt involved cutting off Russia’s government from Western financing and denying the nation access to US markets and investors.
“These prohibitions will cut off the Russian government from a key avenue by which it raises capital to fund its priorities and will increase future financing costs,”Het mnr. Biden gesê.
Five Russian elites and their family members were also subject to “full blocking” sanctions with Mr Biden saying that the individuals “directly benefit from their connections with the Kremlin”.
“They share in the corrupt gains of the Kremlin’s policies and should share in the pain as well," hy het gesê.
Mr Biden warned that any Russian financial services company was a “target” for further sanctions.
This first round of sanctions, which were coordinated with sanctions from other nations, came after Mr Putin recognized the two Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states and sent Russian troops over Ukraine’s border.
Op Woensdag, Mr Biden announced that, following close communication with Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Germany had halted the certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and the US was imposing sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG and its corporate officers.
Wall Street plunges on opening bell
Wall Street plunged on the opening bell on Thursday after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sparked a drop in global markets and sent oil prices soaring.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 800 points while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was down more than 20 per cent from its high in November 2021.
Oil prices reached their highest levels in eight years, styg tot $105 a barrel.
Die Onafhanklike’s Oliver O’Connell has the full story:
Wall Street fell sharply at the opening on Thursday following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
US considers moving troops further east into Europe
The US is considering moving its troops further east into Europe amid concerns about the proximity of Russia’s military to the nation’s allies, according to a US official and European diplomatic source.
The sources told CNN that NATO has given General Tod Wolters, the commander of the US European Command and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, the go-ahead to activate NATO defense stance, including the NATO Response Force.
The troops are among the 90,000 US soldiers already positioned across Europe before Thursday’s early morning invasion.
Op Dinsdag, Mr Biden directed Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to move thousands of US troops to the Baltic Republics, Poland and Ukraine’s southeastern flank to shore up the defences of nations bordering Ukraine.
President holds meeting with National Security Council
Mr Biden held a meeting with the National Security Council in the White House situation room early on Thursday morning as the US plans how it will respond to Russia.
The meeting, reported by CNN, included several of the nation’s top national security officials including National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, CIA Director Bill Burns and Vice President Kamala Harris.
President to speak with G7 counterparts about the sanctions on Russia
Mr Biden is speaking with the US’s G7 counterparts on Thursday morning as several countries took steps to implement new sanctions on Russia in an effort to pressure Mr Putin into stopping his invasion of Russia.
“I will meet with my G7 counterparts in the 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,” Mr Biden said in a statement.
“We will also coordinate with our NATO Allies to ensure a strong, united response that deters any aggression against the Alliance.”
Biden speaks with Ukrainian president about international response
Mr Biden has spoken with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about the international response to Russia’s invasion.
The US said in a statement late Wednesday night ET that Mr Zelenskyy had reached out to him by phone and asked the US to “call on the leaders of the world” to join together against Mr Putin’s “flagrant aggression”.
“I condemned this unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces,” said Mr Biden.
“I briefed him on the steps we are taking to rally international condemnation, including tonight at the United Nations Security Council.
“He asked me to call on the leaders of the world to speak out clearly against President Putin’s flagrant aggression, and to stand with the people of Ukraine.
“Tomorrow, I will be meeting with the Leaders of the G7, and the United States and our Allies and partners will be imposing severe sanctions on Russia. We will continue to provide support and assistance to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.”