Russia Crossed the Border of Ukraine
Russia has invaded Ukraine. The Russian President Vladimir Putin declared war on Ukraine in an emergency television address early February 24. "We have decided on a special military operation against Ukraine. This is to protect citizens suffering from genocide under the Kyiv regime for eight years," he said. He also warned Ukrainian government forces to lay down weapons and retaliate immediately if other countries intervene. Putin said the purpose of the operation was "protection of the people" and that it was not an occupation of Ukraine, but Russian attacks have been carried out throughout Ukraine. Russian ground forces entered through their borders with Ukraine, including Belarus. They landed through the southern cities like Mariupol. Ukraine's forces said military facilities in the capital Kyiv and Kharkiv in the northeast were attacked by missiles. Foreign media also reported that explosions were heard in many cities both in the west and the east. In response, Russia's Defense Ministry said, "We attacked military facilities with precision strikes, and there was no damage to civilians." In response, Ukrainian President Zelensky declared martial law, saying, "Russia attacked Ukraine's military facilities and border guards." Ukrainian authorities urged citizens not to panic and to stay at home with the lights turned off. Zelensky also tweeted that heis communicating with U.S. President Joe Biden and other leaders, and the world is on their side. However, citizens are seen to be terrified by the invasion. On social media, Ukrainian banks and gas stations are lined up with people. People have withdrawn cash and secured gasoline to prepare for evacuation. In the capital Kyiv, serious traffic jams occurred as vehicles were rushing to get out.
The U.S. Biden administration immediately stated on the day of the Russian invasion criticizing it as an "unreasonable attack" and saying "The world will hold Russia accountable." Biden also said he called Zelensky and promised to continue support and immediately held video talks with the G7 countries to respond decisively to Russia. In this context, decisive measures refer to large-scale sanctions imposed by the European Union, etc. On February 24, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Gazprom, a Russian state-owned company in charge of the gas pipeline project between Germanyand Russia. A U.S. State Department spokes man Ned Price said, "The gas pipeline project is worth 13 trillion dollars, but it is likely to become a sunken steel project." Other sanctions against Russia include the suspension of transactions with large banks, export restrictions on major technologies, and sanctions against Putin and his relatives. The government of South Korea expressed strong regret over the Russian invasion and demanded an immediate halt. President Moon said on February 24 that South Korea would participate in international efforts, including economic sanctions against Russia. As the U.S. is reportedly considering restricting exports of core components and electronic devices such as semiconductors, South Korea is expected to participate in these fields.