Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation in Ukraine on Thursday 24 February 2022 with explosions heard soon after in the capital and other parts of the country, prompting outrage from Joe Biden who warned of a “catastrophic loss of life”.
Putin said in a television announcement shortly before 6:00 am (0300 GMT) in Moscow:
I have made the decision of a military operation…
Whoever would try to stop us and further create threats, to our people, should know that Russia’s response will be immediate and lead you to such consequences that you have never faced in your history.
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He also called on Ukrainian soldiers to lay down their arms and justified the invasion by claiming a “genocide” in Ukraine’s east.
The Kremlin had earlier said rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine had asked Moscow for military help against Kyiv.
Some world leaders have since castigated the attack on Ukraine and threatened to respond decisively.