UN holds emergency meeting after Russia conducts ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine

Explosions were heard in Ukraine after Russian President Putin announced a "special military operation." In a statement US President Joe Biden said a war will "bring a catastrophic loss of life."

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The UN Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting on Ukraine for Wednesday night, just hours after diplomats from dozens of countries took the floor at the General Assembly to deplore Russia’s actions toward the country and call for diplomacy as an invasion seemed imminent.

Ukraine requested the council session, citing an “immediate threat of Russian offensive.”

The meeting is the second time in the same amount of days that the Ukraine crisis is being discussed at the Security Council, where Russia holds the rotating presidency this month.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine heightened on Monday after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the recognition of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) and the subsequent entry of peacekeepers into the two separatist regions in Ukraine.

In 2014, Russia annexed Crimea and pro-Russian separatists entered a conflict against the Ukrainian government after declaring independence in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. 

The implementation of the Minsk Agreement in 2015 effectively created a ceasefire which has been consistently violated, with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) reported a “dramatic increase” in violations in recent days with a record high of over 3,000 violations recorded in Donetsk on Feb. 18-20. 

Around 14,000 people have been killed in the conflict and some 800,000 civilians live in the zone, according to Crisis Group.

Explosions heard across Ukraine after Vladimir Putin announces ‘special military operation’

The Russian president in a televised speech early Thursday said he has authorized a “special military operation” in eastern Ukraine.

Explosions have been reported in multiple cities in Ukraine following Putin’s announcement. Earlier, Putin secured approval to use armed forces abroad and a Kremlin spokesperson said that Russian-backed leaders in eastern Ukraine requested military assistance.

President Biden says war will ‘bring a catastrophic loss of life’

In an official statement on the evening of Feb. 23, 2022 United States President Joe Biden condemned the actions set into motion by Russia.

“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,” Biden said at the White House Wednesday. “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.”

According to Biden, the White House will be monitoring the events in Ukraine closely.

“Tomorrow, I will meet with my G7 counterparts in the morning and then speak to the American people to announce the further consequences the United States and our Allies and partners will impose on Russia for this needless act of aggression against Ukraine and global peace and security,” Biden said. “We will also coordinate with our NATO Allies to ensure a strong, united response that deters any aggression against the Alliance. Tonight, Jill and I are praying for the brave and proud people of Ukraine.”

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