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Lawmakers at State of the Union fill room with Ukraine’s blue and yellow

·Senior Writer
·2 min read
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Members of Congress who filled the House Chamber for President Biden’s first State of the Union address Tuesday showed their support for Ukraine amid Russia’s ongoing invasion by giving a standing ovation to the country’s ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, who was in the audience.

Markarova was invited to attend the speech by first lady Jill Biden. And she was introduced by the president at the beginning of his address.

“Let each of us here tonight in this chamber send an unmistakable signal to Ukraine and to the world,” Biden said. “Please rise if you are able and show that, yes, we the United States of America stand with the Ukrainian people.”

Ukraine's envoy to the United States, Oksana Markarova, puts her hand on her heart, and holds a small Ukraine flag in her hand, with first lady Jill Biden clapping beside her during the standing ovation..
Ukraine's ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, acknowledges President Biden as first lady Jill Biden applauds, at his first State of the Union address in Congress on Tuesday. (J. Scott Applewhite/Pool via AP)

Many lawmakers wore yellow and blue, the official colors of Ukraine, and even waved small Ukrainian flags. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, sitting behind Biden, wore a pin featuring the Ukrainian and American flags.

In his address, Biden condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “premeditated and unprovoked” attack on Ukraine.

“We countered Russia’s lies with truth,” Biden said. “And now that he has acted, the free world is holding him accountable.”

His comments came as Ukraine’s civilians increasingly bear the brunt of Russia’s offensive, and as much of the world has rallied against the Kremlin.

Ukrainian-born U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., speaks with her GOP colleagues before President Biden's State of the Union address in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. (J. Scott Applewhite/Pool via Reuters)
Ukrainian-born U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., speaks with her GOP colleagues before President Biden's State of the Union address in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. (J. Scott Applewhite/Pool via Reuters)
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., wears a Ukrainian flag to President Biden's State of the Union Address on Tuesday. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via Reuters)
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., wears a Ukrainian flag to President Biden's State of the Union Address on Tuesday. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via Reuters)
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, talks with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., before President Biden's State of the Union address in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. (Evelyn Hockstein/Pool via Reuters)
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, talks with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., before President Biden's State of the Union address in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. (Evelyn Hockstein/Pool via Reuters)
Reps. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., in a gold jacket top, Terri Sewell, D-Ala., and Lisa Blunt Rochester. D-Del., in blue jacket, converse animatedly.
Reps. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., Terri Sewell, D-Ala., and Lisa Blunt Rochester. D-Del., arrive for the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday. (Sarahbeth Maney/Pool via Reuters)