Congress unites behind Ukraine as Biden calls war ‘test for the ages’

Attendees, including US Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, Irsih singer-songwriter Bono, and Brandon Tsay applaud Ukrainian Ambassador to the US Oksana Markarova as US President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address in the House Chamber of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on February 7, 2023. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Lawmakers stood for a rare bipartisan ovation in support of Ukraine as President Biden asked Ukrainian Ambassador Oksana Markarova to stand up and called Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion a “test for the ages.”

Biden’s remarks before a Republican-controlled House of Representatives come as a small but vocal group of GOP lawmakers have criticized U.S. assistance to Ukraine and as popular support among Republican voters for U.S. support for Kyiv is sliding. 

However, the president boasted that the country has remained united along with its allies in standing together with Kyiv ahead of the one-year mark of Moscow’s aggression. 

“Putin’s invasion has been a test for the ages, a test for America, a test for the world,” the president said, describing Russia’s invasion as a “murderous assault” that evokes the worst images of death and destruction in Europe during World War II. 

“Together, we did what America always does at our best. We led. We united NATO and built a global coalition. We stood against Putin’s aggression. We stood with the Ukrainian people,” he said.

The president underscored why commitment to Ukraine’s defense is important for the U.S., saying it “keeps the peace and prevents open season for would-be aggressors to threaten our security and prosperity. One year later, we know the answer.” 

U.S. military assistance to Ukraine has exceeded an estimated $28 since Putin’s February 2022 invasion.

The president nodded to the presence of Markarova, in attendance as a guest of first lady Jill Biden. 

“We are united in support of your country,” the president said, addressing the Ukrainian ambassador. “We’re going to stand with you, as long as it takes.”

Tags Jill Biden Joe Biden Oksana Markarov Russia-Ukraine wr Vladimir Putin

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