Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a chilling warning to his allies in the West after declaring war on Ukraine.
Explosions were heard in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev as Putin announced that Russia would launch a military attack on Ukraine.
In an early morning speech in Moscow on Feb. 24, Putin said, “To all those who are considering outside interference – if you do, you will face consequences greater than any in history.”
The United Nations Security Council had just convened an emergency meeting Wednesday night when Putin announced the invasion over Russian radio at 5:50 a.m. Moscow time.
Antonio Guterres, the United Nations secretary-general, had urged Putin to stop his tanks.
If indeed an operation is being prepared, I have only one thing to say, and that is from the bottom of my heart,” Guterres said.
President Putin, stop your troops from attacking Ukraine. Give peace a chance. Too many people have already died.
Putin ignored the request, calling the invasion a “special military occupation” on television and saying he wanted to “demilitarize” and “denazify” the country, not occupy it.
He called on Ukrainian military personnel to “lay down their weapons and go home,” saying Russia cannot exist with a “constant threat emanating from Ukrainian territory” and that clashes between Russian and Ukrainian soldiers are “inevitable.”
President Joe Biden responded to Putin’s on Wednesday evening, saying, “The prayers of the entire world are with the Ukrainian people tonight as they suffer from an unprovoked and unjustified by Russian forces.
President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring catastrophic loss of life and human suffering. Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction that this will bring, and the United States and its allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive manner. The world will hold Russia accountable,” his statement continued.
Biden added that he would monitor the situation from the White House throughout the night and receive regular updates from his security team.
The president plans to meet with his G7 colleagues Thursday morning and address the American people to announce the “further consequences that the United States and our allies and partners will impose on Russia for this unnecessary act of aggression against Ukraine and global peace and security.”
We will also coordinate with our NATO allies to ensure a strong, unified response that prevents any aggression against the Alliance. Tonight, Jill and I pray for the brave and proud people of Ukraine,” he concluded his statement.