During President Biden’s first State of the Union address last Tuesday, he promised Ukraine that the United States would continue its assistance to Ukrainians and pursue punishing the Russian government and its oligarchs for the invasion of their country. The State of the Union address was notably attended by Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova, who received a standing ovation from those who had attended.

Biden addressed both Ukraine and Russia during his speech, where he first praised Ukraine and its people due to their bravery and undying spirit to defend their country. Note that it is not only the Ukrainian Armed Forces who are defending their country. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had announced last week that Ukrainian volunteers who wanted to fight for Ukraine could be given weapons if they chose to do so. The public has voluntarily made Molotov cocktails to throw at the Russian invaders in an attempt to defend themselves. Furthermore, Ukrainians are taking themselves as physical shields against Russian tanks by blocking military vehicles as a collective on the streets.

“Six days ago, Russia’s Vladimir Putin sought to shake the 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 rollover. Instead, he met a wall of strength he never imagined. He met the Ukrainian people,” said President Biden.

He reiterated that his administration would continue to provide military, economic, and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, where he had recently sent another $350 million assistance package to Ukraine in what the White House calls ‘lethal defensive assistance’ through the Foreign Assistance Act. According to US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, this recent military assistance package brings the total amount of US assistance to Ukraine over just the past year to be at $1 billion.