JERUSALEM—To the astonishment of millions around the world – including many in government and the media who thought he was just bluffing, President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian military forces early Thursday morning to attack Ukraine, including missile strikes on the capital of Kyiv.
“Putin has just launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Peaceful Ukrainian cities are under strikes,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted at 5:58 a.m.
“This is a war of aggression,” Kuleba added. “Ukraine will defend itself and will win. The world can and must stop Putin. The time to act is now.”
In another tweet at 6:58am, the foreign minister wrote:
The world must act immediately. Future of Europe & the world is at stake. To do list:
1. Devastating sanctions on Russia NOW, including SWIFT
2. Fully isolate Russia by all means, in all formats
3. Weapons, equipment for Ukraine
4. Financial assistance
5. Humanitarian assistance
PUTIN DECLARES “SPECIAL MILITARY OPERATION”
“Russian forces fired missiles at several cities in Ukraine and landed troops on its south coast on Thursday, officials and media said, after President Vladimir Putin authorized what he called a special military operation in the East,” Reuters is reporting.
“Shortly after Putin spoke in a televised address on Russian state TV, explosions could be heard in the pre-dawn quiet of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv” (also spelled Kiev).
BIDEN TO ADDRESS THE NATION
U.S. President Joe Biden immediately issued a statement and plans to address the American people:
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.
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.
Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.