US responds to Russia’s operation in Donbass
Russia has declared a “premeditated war” that will cause a “catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,” US President Joe Biden has said, following the announcement of a “military operation” against Ukraine.
In a statement published late on Wednesday evening, Biden called for the world to hold Moscow accountable for “the death and destruction.”
“The prayers of the world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by the Russian military forces,” Biden said.
The US president's response follows a declaration by Russian President Vladimir Putin that Moscow would take "decisive and immediate action" in order to "demilitarize" and "de-Nazify" Ukraine.
Biden's statement also follows reports from multiple media sources that explosions were heard in numerous Ukrainian cities, including Kiev, Kharkov, and Kramatorsk.
"The United States and its allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable," Biden continued.
Putin's decision comes days after Moscow recognized the independence of the breakaway Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) People's Republics in the Donbass, alleging Kiev had not lived up to its obligations under the Minsk agreements struck in 2014 and 2015 to resolve conflict between separatists and the Ukrainian government.
Officials later authorized what they described as a "peacekeeping operation" in the region. Western leaders for months had predicted a looming incursion, claiming Russia has amassed troops near its border with Ukraine and in neighboring Belarus, where Moscow has conducted joint drills in recent weeks.