Russian President Vladimir Putin has launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, announced the country’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Thursday and added that Ukrainian cities are under strikes.
“Putin has just launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Peaceful Ukrainian cities are under strikes. This is a war of aggression. Ukraine will defend itself and will win. The world can and must stop Putin. The time to act is now,” Kuleba tweeted. This tweet comes less than an hour after Putin announced a special “military operation” to protect Donbas in eastern Ukraine.
Defending Russia’s decision to take military action in the Donbas region, the Russian envoy to the UN Vasily Alekseevich Nebenzya, told UN Security Council “the root of today’s crisis around Ukraine is the actions of Ukraine itself.” “The root of today’s crisis around Ukraine is the actions of Ukraine itself, who for many years were sabotaging its obligations under the (Minsk agreement),” said Nebenzya.
Nebenzya said that the Russian operation is aimed to protect residents in eastern Ukraine. Condemning Russia’s “unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine”, US President Joe Biden said that the premeditated war will bring a catastrophic loss of life. “The prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces. President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,” Biden said in a White House statement.
Social media users in Ukraine reported hearing blasts in other cities, including Kharkiv and the Ukrainian-controlled city of Kramatorsk in the disputed eastern Donbas region.
Asserting that the US and its allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way, Biden said that Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring. The world will hold Russia accountable, he added.
United Nations chief Antonio Guterres asked the Russian President to stop “attacking Ukraine” and give peace a chance, Speaking at an emergency UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday night, the UN chief said, “The day was full of rumours and indications of an offensive against Ukraine was imminent.” “I was wrong. And I would like not to be wrong again today,” he added.