President Biden's State of the Union address

By Maureen Chowdhury, Mike Hayes, Jason Kurtz and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 2235 GMT (0635 HKT) March 2, 2022
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9:25 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Biden pledges US forces "are not engaged and will not engage in the conflict with Russian forces in Ukraine"

From CNN's DJ Judd

President Biden reiterated Tuesday that the US would not deploy troops to Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, telling members of Congress gathered for his State of the Union, “Let me be clear — our forces are not engaged and will not engage in the conflict with Russian forces in Ukraine.”

Instead, the President said, American troops were deployed to Europe not to fight in Ukraine, “but to defend our NATO allies in the event that Putin decides to keep moving west.”

“For that purpose, we have mobilized American ground forces, air squadrons, ship deployments to protect NATO countries including Poland, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia,” he added.

Previously, Biden has said the US would hold fast to NATO’s Article 5 principle, which says that an attack on one NATO country is an attack on all member counties—in Tuesday’s remarks, he pledged, “As I’ve made crystal clear, the United States and our Allies will defend every inch of territory of NATO countries with the full force of our collective power.”

For Ukraine, the President touted “more than $1 billion in direct assistance to Ukraine,” including military, economic, and humanitarian aide from the US and allies.

9:47 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Biden to Americans alarmed by news in Ukraine: "We're going to be okay"

(Evelyn Hockstein/Pool/AP)
(Evelyn Hockstein/Pool/AP)

President Biden aimed to calm concerned Americans who are worried about the war going on Ukraine.

"I know news about what is happening can seem alarming to all Americans. What I want you to know, we're going to be okay. We're going to be okay." 

"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," the President said.

9:36 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Biden: "Putin is now isolated from the world more than he has ever been"

From CNN's Jason Kurtz

Amid Russia's invasion into Ukraine, President Biden praised the United States' ability to band together with other "freedom-loving nations" across the world.

"We stayed united," said the President.

"We countered Russia's lies with the truth, and now, now that he's acted, the free world is holding him accountable," Biden said.

"Putin is now isolated from the world more than he has ever been," the President said, a remark that was met with applause inside the House chamber.

9:31 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Biden announces ban on Russian aircraft from US airspace

President Biden announced a ban on Russian aircraft from US airspace during his State of the Union address.

"Tonight I'm announcing that we will join our allies in closing off American air space to all Russian flights, further isolating Russia and adding additional squeeze on their economy," the President said.

US officials believe there will still be ways for Americans to get out of Russia if Russian flights cannot come to the US, citing train options out of the country as one possibility.

The US joins Canada and the European Union in closing off its airspace to Russian aircraft. Before European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the entire EU would close off its airspace to Russian planes, several European countries — including Germany, France and Italy — had already done so.

Watch the moment:

9:32 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Biden says the Department of Justice will target Russian oligarchs

President Biden said that the US intends to go after Russian oligarchs who support Vladimir Putin. 

"Tonight, I say to the Russian oligarchs and corrupt leaders who built billions of dollars off this violent regime, no more. The United States — [ applause ] I mean it. The United States Department of Justice is assembling a dedicated task force to go after the crimes of the Russian oligarchs," Biden said.

Biden continued: "We're joining with European allies to find and seize their yachts, their luxury apartments, their private jets. We're coming for your ill-begotten gains."

Watch the moment:

12:46 a.m. ET, March 2, 2022

Today marks the first time 2 women sit behind the President during an official State of the Union address

From CNN's Ethan Cohen and Melissa DePalo

(Jabin Botsford/Pool/AP)
(Jabin Botsford/Pool/AP)

While last year marked the first time two women (Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi) sat behind a president on the dais, this year's speech marks the first time it'll happen for an official State of the Union address.

George W. Bush’s 2007 address, shortly after Pelosi became the first female speaker of the House, marked the first time there was one woman behind a President. 

9:31 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Biden: Putin "badly miscalculated" when he invaded Ukraine

(Win McNamee/Pool/AP)
(Win McNamee/Pool/AP)

President Biden opened his State of the Union address by directly calling out Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Six days ago, Russia's Vladimir Putin sought to shake the very foundations of the free world. Thinking he could make it bend to his menacing ways. But he badly miscalculated. He thought he could roll into Ukraine and the world would roll over. Instead, he met with a wall of strength he never anticipated or imagined. He met the Ukrainian people," Biden said.

Watch the moment:

9:15 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Biden: "Last year Covid-19 kept us apart. This year, we're finally together again"

President Biden began is State of the Union address by the pandemic, saying "last year, Covid-19 kept us apart. This year, we're finally together again."

Biden continued, "Tonight, we meet as Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. But most importantly, as Americans. With the duty to one another to America, to the American people, to the constitution. And an unwavering resolve that freedom will always triumph over tyranny."
9:30 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

NOW: Biden delivers State of the Union address

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez

(Sarahbeth ManeyPool//The New York Times/AP)
(Sarahbeth ManeyPool//The New York Times/AP)

President Biden is delivering his first State of the Union address now in the US House chamber, using his biggest platform of the year to condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine.

Speaking to political leaders in Washington, Biden will broadcast a resounding message to the world: The West is united in its response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and condemns the Russian leader for his aggression. And in response to Russia's provocations, the US will join a number of countries in banning Russian aircraft from its airspace, two sources familiar with the decision told CNN.

"Putin's war was premeditated and unprovoked. He rejected efforts at diplomacy. He thought the West and NATO wouldn't respond. And, he thought he could divide us here at home," Biden will say, according to the excerpts. "Putin was wrong. We were ready."

Biden is also expected to recognize his administration's major accomplishments, including the nomination of the first Black woman to the Supreme Court and the passage of his first two major legislative priorities in his first year in office. He'll discuss the prospect of a return to normalcy as Covid cases wane inside a full room where masks are optional — a marked departure from his joint address to Congress last year, when masks were required and seating was limited. And he will seek to recalibrate an economic message that acknowledges the hardships many Americans are facing amid higher prices, launching a new plan to lower costs for American families.