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US President Joe Biden has vowed to seize yachts, property and private jets from Vladimir Putin's 'criminal' oligarch pals in a fiery speech.
The 79-year-old made the comments in his annual State of the Union address to Congress on Monday night as Russian forces advance through Ukraine.
Addressing politicians from around the United States, he said: "The United States department of justice is assembling a dedicated task force to go after the crimes of the Russian oligarchs.
"We are joining with European allies to find and seize their yachts, their luxury apartments, their private jets. We are coming for you."
In the speech the President also committed to blocking Russian airlines from travelling through American airspace, joining 36 nations from around the world.
Biden told the audience at Capitol Hill: "Tonight, I am announcing we will join our allies in closing off American airspace all Russian flights."
The early part of the address saw Biden criticise Putin a number of times, calling him a "dictator" and warning that "when dictators do not pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos".
The Democrat president went on to say that the Russian leader's "war" was "premeditated and unprovoked" and had only come after he had "rejected repeated efforts at diplomacy".
Biden, who has suffered from declining approval rates in opinion polling in the last few months, made a bipartisan appeal by saying the Ukraine crisis had "united" his nation and the world, adding that people had come together as a "wall of strength" against Putin.
His open message to Ukrainian people was meanwhile full of praise, as he praised "groups of citizens blocking tanks with their bodies" — although he suffered a gaffe when he appeared to accidentally call them the "Iranian people".
Biden has been able to achieve some rare co-operation with his Republican political opponents over recent days as he seeks to get laws passed to send $6.4billion (£4.8billion) in humanitarian and security aid to Ukraine.
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- Breaking News
- Russia Ukraine war
- Vladimir Putin
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