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State of the Union live updates: Biden to stress leadership on Ukraine

(WASHINGTON) — The nation and the world will be watching tonight when President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address at 9 p.m. ET with a main focus expected to be on how he and the U.S. are responding to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

As he is set to speak, Russian strikes are killing civilians, forces are massing near Ukraine’s capital Kyiv and Russian President Vladimir Putin shows no sign of backing down.

Biden is expected to highlight his leadership in the allied response and call on Americans to deal with higher gasoline prices in order to help defend democracy.

On the domestic front, he will also address the inflation that is driving his job approval rating at just 37% and highlight progress in dealing with the pandemic that allows many mask mandates to be dropped, including, symbolically, in the House chamber as he makes his high-profile speech.

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  • Biden to stress leadership on Ukraine

Here is how the news is developing today. All times Eastern. Check back for updates.

Mar 01, 3:14 pm
Biden to stress leadership on Ukraine

President Joe Biden’s 9 p.m. ET speech, to be carried live on national television and seen around the world, will be delivered just days after Russia invaded Ukraine — and days after he nominated the first Black woman to sit on the Supreme Court.

But he’ll also be speaking to Americans suffering from historic inflation as the nation continues to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.

With his job approval at an all-time low of 37%, Biden faces the difficult task of balancing their pain with his desire to reap the political benefits of his legislative wins so far — a massive COVID relief package and a once-in-a-generation investment in the nation’s infrastructure — while also demonstrating his leadership on one of the greatest threats to European stability since World War II.

-ABC News’ Ben Gittleson

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