The US closed its airspace to Russian planes as the Russian military attempted to encircle and subdue Ukrainian cities with intensifying bombardments on Wednesday, seven days into an invasion that has sparked massive international sanctions.
Already shunned by the West, Russia has shown no sign of stopping an assault that has included strikes on Kyiv and rocket attacks in the second city of Kharkiv. Dozens have been killed.
Russia has failed to capture a single city since its full-scale invasion began nearly a week ago, and Western analysts say Moscow has fallen back on tactics which call for devastating shelling of built-up areas before entering them.
Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have fled the fighting as a miles-long Russian military convoy north of Kyiv readies to advance on the city. West of Kyiv, in the city of Zhytomyr, four people, including a child, were killed on Tuesday by a Russian cruise missile, a Ukrainian official said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called on Russia to stop bombarding civilians and resume talks.
“It's necessary to at least stop bombing people, just stop the bombing and then sit down at the negotiating table,” he told Reuters and CNN in a joint interview in a heavily guarded government compound in Kyiv.
U.S. President Joe Biden vowed Russian President Vladimir Putin would pay a heavy price for his decision to invade Ukraine, a Western-leaning democratic country of 44 million people.
“He has no idea what's coming,” he said in a State of the Union address in the chamber of the House of Representatives.
“Let each of us if you're able to stand, stand and send an unmistakable signal to Ukraine and to the world.”
The lawmakers stood, applauded and roared, many of them waving Ukrainian flags and wearing the country's blue and yellow colours.
Biden announced a further ratcheting up of sanctions on Moscow, joining the European Union and Canada in banning Russian planes from US airspace. He also said the Justice Department would seek to seize the yachts, luxury apartments and private jets of wealthy Russians with ties to Putin.
The Russian leader ordered a “special military operation” last Thursday in a bid to disarm Ukraine, capture the “neo-Nazis” he says are running the country and crush its hopes of closer ties to the West.