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Russian President Vladimir Putin officially ordered his country’s invasion of Ukraine late Wednesday after greenlighting a “specialized military operation.”
Tension has escalated the past few days as Russian troops inched toward the border with Ukraine, and Putin’s recognition of the independence of two Ukrainian regions set the stage for Wednesday night’s military action.
“We decided to launch a special military action aimed at demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine,” Putin announced.
During a CNN broadcast aired from the capital city of Kyiv, explosions were heard pounding in the background while the anchor winced at the sound of the Russian military.
Russia’s forces were also reportedly arriving in cities such as Kramatorsk and Odessa.
U.S. President Joe Biden released a statement on Russia’s operation.
“I’ll be monitoring the situation from White House this evening & get regular updates from my national security team,” Biden said. “Tomorrow, I’ll meet with my G7 counterparts in the morning… We’ll coordinate with our NATO allies.”
A Ukrainian ambassador delivered a fiery message to his Russian counterpart during a U.N. assembly that took place after Putin’s declaration for war.
“Relinquish your duties as the chair. Call Putin, call Lavrov, to stop aggression… There is no purgatory for war criminals. They go straight to hell … ” yelled the Ukrainian ambassador.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela