(DCWatchdog.com) – This week, Russian forces invaded Ukraine by land, air, and sea, the most significant military attack carried out by one state against another in Europe since World War II.
According to Ukraine’s Health Minister Oleh Lyashko, the first day of Russia’s attack killed at least 57 people and wounded a further 169.
This as President Joe Biden revealed that he had reached an agreement with G7 leaders to limit Russia’s ability to participate in the global economy. The deal would also hinder them from financing and growing their military and cripple their participation in a high-tech economy.
In a public address from the White House, Biden also remarked that Russian President Vladimir Putin had bigger ambitions than invading Ukraine, noting that Putin wants to “re-establish the Soviet Union.”
Addressing reporters, a senior U.S. Defense Department official revealed early Thursday that Putin’s goal appeared to be seizing Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, and “installing his own method of governance,” claiming Putin said as much in his overnight speech where he declared Russia would be launching a “military operation” in Ukraine.
The extensive attack on Ukraine hit cities and military bases almost instantly, with airstrikes and shelling, causing civilians to seek refuge in neighboring Poland, using cars and trains to flee the country.
In a statement, Ukraine’s government called the Russian attack a “full-scale war,” adding that it could rewrite the geopolitical order.
Thursday also saw Russian forces seize control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant after a few hours of intense battle with Ukrainian forces.
U.S. troops from the 173rd Airborne Brigade ㅡ the first U.S. troops repositioned to demonstrate the country’s commitment to Allies and bolster the eastern flank of NATO ㅡalso arrived in Latvia on Thursday morning, according to the U.S. Embassy Riga.
Yet the official stressed that U.S. troops would not be “fighting the war in Ukraine,” revealing that the U.S. had no aircraft in Ukrainian airspace as of Wednesday morning.
The attack also caused Ukraine to sever diplomatic relations with Russia, with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urging the country’s partners “to do the same,” saying that doing that would “demonstrate that you stand by Ukraine and categorically reject the most blatant act of aggression in Europe since WWII.”
Despite the West condemning Russia’s attack on Ukraine, it remains unclear whether forces would be intervening, with Putin warning that any intervention would come with grave consequences.
Zelinsky also mentioned he would provide weapons to civilian citizens who wanted to defend the country. In a statement on Twitter, he said they should be “ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities,” before adding that “The future of the Ukrainian people depends on every Ukrainian,” urging those who wanted to defend the country to make their way to the Interior Ministry’s assembly facilities.
Putin’s announcement that Russia would be attacking Ukraine came after weeks of denying he had any plans to invade. But in an overnight televised address, he justified his actions, saying that the attack was necessary to protect civilians in eastern Ukraine. The U.S. had expected Putin to make this false claim in preparation for a full-scale invasion.