U.S. President Joe Biden announced sanctions on Russia after what the Kyiv government called a “full-scale invasion” of Ukraine on Thursday.
After meeting with G7 leaders Thursday morning to discuss a response to Russia’s attacks, Biden addressed the nation, saying the U.S. will place sanctions on exports to Russia.
“This is going to impose severe cost on the Russian economy both immediately and over time,” Biden said Thursday. “We have purposely designed these sanctions to maximize a long-term impact on Russia and to minimize the impact on the United States and our allies.”
Russia will now be limited in its ability to do business in U.S. dollars, euros, pounds and Yen, according to Biden.
After placing sanctions on Russia’s two largest state-owned banks on Wednesday, Biden said four more banks would be added to the list. Biden then noted that the value of the Russian ruble fell to all-time lows on Thursday.
The U.S. is also targeting “Russian elites” in its sanctions, attempting to keep “corrupt billionaires” and their families from getting around the sanctions.
“That means ever asset they have in America will be frozen,” Biden said.
Between the U.S. and its allied nations, Biden said more than half of Russia’s high-tech imports will be cut off.
“It’ll strike a blow to their ability to modernize in the military,” Biden said. “It’ll degrade their aerospace industry, including their space program. It’ll hurt their ability to build ships, reducing their ability to compete economically and it’ll be a major hit to Putin’s long-term strategic ambitions and we’re preparing to do more.”
Before the invasion took place, Russian president Vladimir Putin said Russian forces would be conducting a military operation in Ukraine, saying any outside interference would be met with “consequences you have never seen,” according to AP News.
“I have a few words for those who could feel tempted to interfere with ongoing developments: whoever tries to impede us, let alone create threats for our country and its people must know that the Russian response will be immediate and lead to the consequences you have never seen in history,” Putin said in a Russian television address.
Putin added that the U.S. and NATO allies ignored claims that Ukraine was a threat to Russia.
For weeks, Russia had placed more than 175,000 troops on the border of Ukraine before launching its attack on Thursday.
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Civilian footage shared to social media showed Russian tanks making their way through the border of Ukraine, as well as missile launches flying through the sky throughout the morning.
“Russia has embarked on a path of evil, but Ukraine is defending itself and won’t give up its freedom,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted Thursday.
Russia has advanced on Ukrainian military bases, and according to AP News, have taken over the unused nuclear power plant of Chernobyl.
According to an advisor of the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, at least 40 people have been killed after explosions in Ukraine.