Biden bans oil imports from Russia, warns of rising gas prices

American consumers are already feeling the pressure. In California, prices for some gas have hovered around $6 in recent days; On Tuesday the state average was more than $5.

On Tuesday, Republicans largely backed Mr. Biden’s decision to cut Russian oil, giving the president a rare moment of bipartisan support. But even as they did so, many Republicans once again took advantage of high prices at the pump to criticize him and his party.

“Democrats want to blame Russia for the price hike,” California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives, said Tuesday. “But the truth is that their out-of-touch policies are the reason we are here in the first place.”

In his remarks, Biden described the decision as a moral one, aimed at further crippling Putin’s economy as Russian forces continued their brutal bombing of civilians in many cities and suburbs of Ukraine after a grueling two-week war in Europe.

“The Ukrainian people have inspired the world, and I mean that literally,” Mr. Biden said. “They inspired the world with their courage, patriotism and bold determination to live in freedom. Putin’s war has caused enormous suffering and needless loss of life to women, children and everyone else in Ukraine.”

“It seems that Putin is determined to continue on his murderous path at all costs,” he added.

Fighting continued to rage across Ukraine on Tuesday as humanitarian officials reported that two million refugees had fled the country in search of safety. But the number of casualties increased as evacuations continued to be hit despite supposed “green corridors” of fire.

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About 2,000 civilians managed to flee Irbin, a suburb northwest of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, which spent days without water, electricity and heat due to heavy fighting in the area. In the war-ravaged city of Sumy east of Kyiv, a humanitarian corridor lasted long enough to allow hundreds of civilians to escape in a convoy of buses driven by the Red Cross.

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