Biden sanctions Russian oligarchs, banks in Ukraine crisis

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MOSCOW (AP) — The East-West faceoff over Ukraine has escalated dramatically, with Russian lawmakers authorizing President Vladimir Putin to use military force outside his country and President Joe Biden and European leaders responding by slapping sanctions on Russian oligarchs and banks.

Both leaders signaled that an even bigger confrontation could lie ahead.

Putin has yet to unleash the force of the 150,000 troops massed on three sides of Ukraine, while Biden held back on the toughest sanctions that could cause economic turmoil for Russia but said they would go ahead if there is further aggression.

The sanctions underscored the urgency felt by Western nations to blunt a conflict that increasingly shows no hope of a diplomatic resolution and could still get more severe.

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