By ELLEN KNICKMEYER
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. President Joe Biden has hit Russia with some of the broadest and toughest financial penalties that the world’s biggest economy can muster. Thursday’s move came hours after President Vladimir Putin launched his military’s invasion of Ukraine. The U.S. sanctions and penalties announced so far appear to spare Putin himself from sanctions, and forgo an option long-cited as one of the toughest possible — banning Russia from the SWIFT financial system that moves money around the world. Biden cited concerns by European allies. But the steps the United States took Thursday are powerful ones regardless, aimed at crippling Russia’s financial system, its elites and any hopes of economic growth.