RUSSIA INVADES UKRAINE AND threatens nuclear war if any country intervenes

By: Steve Johnson

TRUENews – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday announced a military operation in Ukraine, warning other countries that any attempt to interfere in Russian action would lead to “results you’ve never seen.”

He said the attack was necessary to protect civilians in eastern Ukraine – a claim the US incorrectly predicted to justify an invasion.

In a televised address, Putin accused the United States and its allies of ignoring Russia’s demands to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO and to offer security guarantees to Moscow. He said Russia has no intention of occupying Ukraine but will “demilitarize” it and bring those who have committed crimes to justice.

As Putin spoke before dawn, large explosions could be heard in Kiev, Kharkiv, Odessa and other cities in Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden in a written statement condemned the “unprovoked and unjustified attack” on Ukraine and vowed that the US and its allies “will hold Russia accountable”. Biden said he plans to speak to Americans Thursday after a meeting of Group of Seven leaders. Further sanctions against Russia should be announced on Thursday.

Putin announces military action in Ukraine, explosions can be heard

Russia-Ukraine: What you should know if Putin takes military action

A full-fledged Russian invasion could claim massive casualties and topple Ukraine’s democratically elected government. And the aftermath of the conflict and resulting sanctions against Russia could resonate around the world, disrupting Europe’s energy supplies, shaking global financial markets and threatening the continent’s post-Cold War balance.

The Pentagon says Russian troops are “in an advanced state of readiness” as the Kremlin has indicated rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine have asked Russia for military assistance.

As he unleashed military action, Putin strongly warned other countries not to get involved.

“I have a few words for those who might be tempted to interfere with ongoing developments: whoever tries to hinder us, let alone create threats to our country and its people, needs to know that the Russian response is immediate.” take place and lead to consequences that you have never seen in history,” he said.

Putin urged Ukrainian soldiers to “put down your arms and go home immediately”.

Putin announced the military operation after the Kremlin said rebels in eastern Ukraine had asked Russia for military support to repel the Ukrainian “aggression” and invasion.

Putin’s announcement came just hours after the Ukrainian president dismissed Moscow’s claims that his country posed a threat to Russia and made an impassioned plea for peace at the last minute.

“The people of Ukraine and the government of Ukraine want peace,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an emotional late-night address in Russian, in a direct appeal to Russian citizens. “But if we are attacked, if we are tried to take our country, our freedom, our lives and the lives of our children, we will defend ourselves. If you attack us, you will see our faces, not our backs.”

Zelenskyy said he requested a call with Putin late Wednesday, but the Kremlin did not answer.

In an apparent reference to Putin’s attempt to authorize the Russian military’s “peacekeeping” deployment in eastern Ukraine, Zelenskyy warned that “this move could mark the start of a major war on the European continent.”

“Any provocation, any spark could start a fire that will destroy everything,” he said.

He questioned the claims of Russian propaganda, saying: “You are told that this fire will bring freedom to the people of Ukraine, but the Ukrainian people are free.”

At an emergency UN Security Council meeting convened by Ukraine over the imminent threat of a Russian invasion, members, still unaware of Putin’s announcement, called on him to halt an attack. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened the meeting just before the announcement, telling Putin: “Stop your troops from attacking Ukraine. Give peace a chance. Too many people have already died.”

Concerns about an impending Russian offensive grew after Putin on Monday recognized the independence of the separatist regions, approved sending troops to rebel-held areas and obtained parliamentary approval to use military force outside the country. The West responded with sanctions.

Late on Wednesday, Ukraine’s lawmakers passed a decree imposing a nationwide state of emergency for 30 days from Thursday. The measure allows authorities to impose curfews and other movement restrictions, block rallies and ban political parties and organizations “in the interest of national security and public order”.

The action reflected the growing concern of the Ukrainian authorities after weeks of trying to instill calm. The Foreign Ministry advised against traveling to Russia and recommended that the Ukrainians there leave the country immediately.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday the Russian force of more than 150,000 troops deployed along Ukraine’s borders is on an advanced state of readiness. “You’re ready to go now,” Kirby said.

According to a message to the airmen, the airspace over the entire Ukraine was closed to civil air traffic early Thursday. A commercial flight tracking website showed that an Israeli El Al Boeing 787 flying from Tel Aviv to Toronto abruptly exited Ukrainian airspace before making a detour via Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland.

The only other aircraft tracked over Ukraine was a US RQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned surveillance aircraft, which began flying west early Thursday after Russia imposed flight restrictions over Ukrainian territory.

Another wave of distributed denial-of-service attacks hit Ukraine’s parliament and other government and banking websites on Wednesday, and cybersecurity researchers said unidentified attackers also infected hundreds of computers with destructive malware.

Officials have long said they expect cyberattacks to precede and accompany any Russian military incursion, and analysts said the incidents hark back to a nearly two-decades-old Russian playbook of cyberoperations with real-world aggression.

Even before Putin’s announcement, dozens of nations imposed sanctions on Russia, further crowding out Russian oligarchs and banks from international markets.

Biden allowed sanctions against the company that built the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany and against the company’s CEO.

Germany said Tuesday it was indefinitely suspending the project after Biden accused Putin of triggering “the start of a Russian invasion of Ukraine” by sending troops to the separatist regions. The pipeline is complete but not yet operational.

Even before the Russian military attack on Ukraine began, the threat of war had shredded the Ukrainian economy, raising the specter of massive casualties, energy shortages across Europe and global economic chaos.

European Union sanctions against Russia went into effect, targeting several companies and 351 Russian lawmakers who voted in support of a motion calling on Putin to recognize the rebel regions and 27 senior government officials, businessmen and senior military figures.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has shrugged off the sanctions, saying that “Russia has demonstrated its ability to minimize the damage, despite the cost of the sanctions.”

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