U.S. President Joe Biden led Congress in giving a standing ovation to Ukrainian Ambassador Oksana Markarova during his first State of the Union Address on March 1.

Early in his speech, Biden brought up the War in Ukraine. He said Russian President Vladimir Putin had "badly miscalculated" when launching the invasion. Putin had believed "Ukraine and the world would rollover. Instead, he met a wall of strength he never imagined. According to the Guardian, he met the Ukrainian people," Biden said.

'An unmistakable signal'

The world had been moved by images of ordinary Ukrainians "blocking tanks with their bodies," Biden said.

Then, turning to the ambassador, he said, "Let each of us here tonight in this Chamber send an unmistakable signal to Ukraine and the world."

He continued, "Please rise if you are able and show that, Yes, we the United States of America stand with the Ukrainian people." Members of the joint session of Congress and Biden's Cabinet gave the diplomat a standing ovation. First Lady Jill Biden embraced her. The text of Biden's speech can be found on the White House website. In addition, videos of the event have been posted on YouTube.

Continuing hardship for Ukraine

The President said it was important to be "clear-eyed." The people of Ukraine were displaying "pure courage. But the next few days, weeks, months, will be hard on them," he said.

The Russian military "may make gains on the battlefield," but Putin "will pay a continuing high price over the long run," Biden said.

Russian planes barred from U.S. air space

Biden said he was "closing off American air space to all Russian flights – further isolating Russia – and adding squeeze – on their economy." The President also said his Department of Justice was putting together a task force "to go after the crimes of Russian oligarchs."

In The New York Times, Michael D.

Shear noted that Biden's statements on Ukraine had been greeted with standing ovations from both Democrats and Republicans. Another journalist for the paper, Catie Edmondson, quoted Democrat Senator Joe Manchin saying he had taken a seat among Republicans to demonstrate bipartisan support for Biden's response to the Russian invasion.

The day before Biden's speech, the Ukrainian ambassador had appealed to U.S. Senators for more military supplies, Politico reported. According to the news site, she said Ukraine needed more lightweight, shoulder-launched Stinger, and Javelin missiles. Politico explained that Stingers were used against aircraft, and Javelins were used against tanks.

On February 27, the A.P.

reported that the White House had decided to send Stingers directly to Ukraine, but the exact time of the delivery had not been revealed. The news agency said that Germany and the Baltic nations had previously decided to supply Ukraine with the anti-aircraft weapon.

Before being appointed Ukrainian ambassador to the United States, Markarova had served as Ukraine's finance minister, The Guardian recalled.