Russia and Ukraine are at war.
A short time ago, with darkness still enveloping eastern Europe and with the United Nations Security Council in session at UN headquarters in New York, Russian forces began attacking Ukraine at the behest of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, who is obsessed with bringing Russia’s neighbor under his control.
In Moscow, Putin announced that he had ordered a “military operation” within the borders of Ukraine, despite the fervent protests of much of the world community.
Ukranian officials reported that the capital, Kyiv, had been struck by Russian missiles. Unconfirmed reports suggested that Russian forces were moving against Kyiv’s airport and other strategic targets within Ukraine. Loud booms have been heard in Kyiv and Kharkiv by correspondents working for CNN and the BBC.
“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,” tweeted Dmytro Kuleba, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Ukraine.
“A wholly unprovoked attack on a peaceful country 🇺🇦 is unfolding. Horrified. Just because you’ve prepared and thought about this possibility for weeks and months doesn’t mean it isn’t shocking when it actually happens,” said Britain’s ambassador to Ukraine, Melinda Simmons.
“There is no purgatory for war criminals,” Ukrainian Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya told Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya, who was ironically chairing the aforementioned meeting of the United Nations Security Council.
“They go straight to hell, ambassador,” Kyslytsya added.
The United States harshly denounced Putin’s attack and warned Putin that he and Russia would pay a steep price for instigating a totally necessary war.
“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,” said President Joe Biden in a statement.
“Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable.”
“I will be monitoring the situation from the White House this evening and will continue to get regular updates from my national security team. Tomorrow, I will meet with my G7 counterparts in the morning and then speak to the American people to announce the further consequences the United States and our Allies and partners will impose on Russia for this needless act of aggression against Ukraine and global peace and security. We will also coordinate with our NATO Allies to ensure a strong, united response that deters any aggression against the Alliance. Tonight, Jill and I are praying for the brave and proud people of Ukraine.”
“Canada condemns in the strongest possible terms Russia’s egregious attack on Ukraine. These unprovoked actions are a clear further violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. They are also in violation of Russia’s obligations under international law and the Charter of the United Nations,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“I strongly condemn Russia’s reckless and unprovoked attack on Ukraine, which puts at risk countless civilian lives,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “Once again, despite our repeated warnings and tireless efforts to engage in diplomacy, Russia has chosen the path of aggression against a sovereign and independent country.”
“This is a grave breach of international law, and a serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security. I call on Russia to cease its military action immediately and respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. NATO Allies will meet to address the consequences of Russia’s aggressive actions. We stand with the people of Ukraine at this terrible time. NATO will do all it takes to protect and defend all Allies.”
“There will be tremendous disinformation pointed at the US & EU in coming days,” noted John Scott-Railton. “Anything to turn us against each other & neuter our resolve. Please, before the next wave of lies lands, take a minute to educate everyone you know about what is actually happening in Ukraine.”
Several media outlets are offering liveblogs:
Although not unexpected, this is nevertheless a very dark and disturbing development. Our strong sympathies are with the people of Ukraine tonight and in the difficult days that lie ahead.