Russia launches massive invasion of Ukraine
AS Russia launched a massive invasion of Ukraine today, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says Russia’s Vladimir Putin has “made a terrible mistake” by starting a war in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian government has reported that Russian troops have been attacking from multiple directions.
• Ukraine says Russia has launched ‘a full-scale attack from multiple directions’
• Germany’s Olaf Scholz says Russian leaders would pay a ‘bitter price’ for starting the war
• Blasts have struck cities across Ukraine, including Kyiv
• The Russian president urged Ukraine’s military to ‘lay down its arms’
• Russian attack a ‘deliberate, cold-blooded, and long-planned invasion,’ says NATO chief
NATO chief: ‘A grave moment for the security of Europe’
At a press conference, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which he called “deliberate, cold-blooded and long-planned.”
He said that the invasion showed that peace could “not be taken for granted” but voiced the opinion that “freedom will always prevail over repression.”
Stoltenberg also said NATO had activated its defense plans giving military commanders more authority to move and deploy forces when needed. He added NATO had increased its forces in the eastern part of the alliance and “will further increase and we are increasing.”
“It will be a new reality, a new Europe after the invasion we saw today,” Stoltenberg said.
He also reasserted NATO’s principle that an attack on one ally will trigger a response from the alliance.
Kremlin: Objectives are Ukraine’s demilitarization and ‘denazification’
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian military operation in Ukraine is designed with two objectives in mind, namely the demilitarization and what he called the “denazification” of Ukraine. He added Putin will decide how long the military campaign will last based on the progress in achieving these objectives.
Peskov added that it was impossible to shut Russia off behind an Iron Curtain.
Putin will not talk to the media following a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Peskov said.
Germany’s Scholz: ‘This is Putin’s war’
Expressing solidarity with Ukrainians, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany will coordinate with G7 and EU leaders to place severe sanctions on Russia.
Scholz said the assault on Ukraine was completely without justification and called it “Putin’s war.”
“It will be clear that Putin has made a terrible mistake by unleashing this war,” Scholz said, adding that Russia would pay a “bitter price” for invading its neighbor.
“I call on Putin immediately to stop the attack,” Scholz said, adding that the Russian leader must completely withdraw his troops from Ukraine.
Scholz also said that he had ordered Germany’s Security Cabinet to convene and had called for a special session of the German parliament on Sunday. A special video conference on G7 leaders will also be convened at his request, he said.