As Russian assault on Ukraine begins, Joe Biden strongly condemns it
WASHINGTON DC (Kurdistan 24) – Russia’s long-anticipated invasion of Ukraine began early on Thursday morning. Initial details were sketchy, but the assault clearly went beyond Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, which pro-Russian separatists claim.
Above all, as US media reported, Russian missiles—both cruise missiles and ballistic missiles—were fired at Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, a city of three million people.
Explosions were also heard in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, located just 12 miles from the Russian border.
US President Joe Biden responded to the assault with a statement issued late on Wednesday, condemning “Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine.”
“President [Vladimir] Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,” Biden said, as he held “Russia alone” accountable “for the death and destruction this attack will bring.”
Two events in Moscow preceded the attack.
The heads of the separatist Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics wrote letters to Putin calling on him to provide military support to repel what they claimed was “the aggression of the Ukrainian armed forces and formations,” as Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced late on Wednesday.
Russian media reported that Putin then decided to respond to their appeal at 3 a.m. Thursday. At 5:45 a.m. Russian state television broadcast an address from Putin. It was unclear if the statement was pre-recorded. Minutes later, the assault on Ukraine began.
The UN Security Council was still meeting at that point in an emergency session to discuss the Ukraine crisis.
“I made the decision to hold a special military operation” in response to a request from the leaders of the Donbas republics, Putin stated in his televised address.
“Its goal is to protect the people who have been subject to abuse and genocide from the Kiev regime for eight years,” Putin continued, “and to this end we will seek to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine.”
US officials have made clear that there is no genocide ongoing in Ukraine, and accusations, like those expressed by Putin, are pretexts invented by Moscow to justify its aggression.
In the statement issued by Biden on Wednesday night, the US president said that he would “meet with my G7 counterparts in the morning and then speak to the American people” about further measures “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.”
It is expected that the US, UK, and the European Union, as well as other countries, will impose very heavy economic sanctions on Russia, which they had held in reserve to deter further attacks.
Almost certainly, Putin had anticipated that move, yet it did not stop the Russian assault.