Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began early Thursday morning, with Russian forces entering the country on multiple fronts as explosions were heard in the capital city of Kyiv and other locations. CBS News described multiple waves of missile strikes hitting Kyiv, and video on social media showed an airborne assault by helicopters near the capital.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the military operations saying that the goals included the demilitarization of Ukraine and said that interference from other countries would lead to “consequences that you have never experienced in your history.” The Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba described the attack as a “full-scale invasion.”
President Joe Biden released a statement condemning the invasion and promising that Russia would be held accountable. “President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,” the statement read. “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.
NATO released a statement condemning the invasion, calling it “unjustified and unprovoked.”
The attack followed weeks of increasing tension as Russian troop numbers increased along the Ukraine border and Putin announced recognition of the independence of two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine.
American and European leaders sought diplomatic solutions to the crisis before imposing sanctions on Russia, including the halting of the permitting of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline that would have run from Russia to Germany.