After months of escalating tension and intense diplomatic talks, Russian President Vladimir Putin in the early hours of Thursday, February 24, announced a military operation in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region.
The Russian president's move has been swiftly condemned by several world leaders. Legit.ng collects the reactions of the leaders.
You have chosen a premeditated war - Biden tells Putin
The reaction of the president of the United States, Joe Biden, was sharp and decisive. He condemned Russia for an “unprovoked and unjustified attack” on Ukraine and vowed that the US and its allies “will hold Russia accountable”.
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“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering.
Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable."
This is blatant breach of international law - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
In his reaction, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz described Russia’s attack on Ukraine as a “blatant breach of international law”.
He added that the attack “cannot be justified by anything”.
You have chosen a path of bloodshed - Boris Johnson blasts Putin
Similar to that of Biden's reaction, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Putin has chosen a path of bloodshed and destruction.
The UK leader said he was appalled by the horrific events in Ukraine, adding that he has spoken to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss the next steps.
“President Putin has chosen a path of bloodshed and destruction by launching this unprovoked attack on Ukraine."
Russia's attack on Ukraine is barbaric - Jan Lipavsky
Czech Republic's foreign minister Jan Lipavsky said Russia’s attack on Ukraine is a “barbaric act of aggression”.
He said his country will respond together with its allies.
“The Kremlin’s decision to launch a completely unprovoked attack is unacceptable and in contradiction to international law."
Russia must be handed “fiercest possible” sanctions - Morawiecki
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki demanded an immediate reaction to Russia’s aggression on Ukraine.
He wants Russia to be handed the “fiercest possible” sanctions.
“We must immediately respond to Russia’s criminal aggression on Ukraine.
“Europe and the free world have to stop Putin. Today’s European Council should approve fiercest possible sanctions. Our support for Ukraine must be real.”
Russia has decided to wage war on Ukraine - Macron
President Emmanuel Macron of France has also strongly condemned Russia’s military attack against Ukraine.
He vowed that the countries would work with allies to end the war.
“Russia must immediately put an end to its military operations.
“France stands in solidarity with Ukraine. It stands by Ukrainians and is working with its partners and allies to end the war."
This is a clear violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty - Justin Trudeau
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also described Russia’s attacks as “unprovoked” and “a clear further violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
Trudeau said he would meet with partners from the Group of Seven to shape a collective response, “including by imposing sanctions additional to those announced earlier this week.”
He added that Russia's "reckless and dangerous acts will not go unpunished.”
We call on all sides to exercise restraint, says China
China's response is notably different from others.
Hua Chunying, spokesperson at China’s foreign ministry said China rejected calling Russia’s moves on Ukraine an “invasion” and urged all sides to exercise restraint, Al Jazeera reported.
“China is closely monitoring the latest situation. We call on all sides to exercise restraint to prevent the situation from getting out of control."
Russia-Ukraine crisis: Nigerian pastor drops scary prediction
Meanwhile, Primate Elijah Ayodele, the leader of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, has dropped a prediction on the crisis between Russia and Ukraine.
The cleric made a statement concerning the crisis during a prayer meeting with notable African leaders at his mountain located around the Lome-Benin-Nigerian border a few days ago.
Ayodele cautioned Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, and Joe Biden, president of the United States, stating that he foresees the crisis escalating beyond necessary and causing destruction in other countries.