As Russia attacks Ukraine, UN chief's desperate plea: 'In the name of humanity'
Russia-Ukraine crisis: United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said the consequences of war would be devastating for Ukraine and far-reaching for the global economy
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday appealed to Russian president Vladimir Putin after he announced a military operation in eastern Ukraine, news agency Reuters reported.
The global peace body's chief urged Putin to stop the war what he cited ‘in the name of humanity’.
"President Putin, in the name of humanity, bring your troops back to Russia," Guterres said after the emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council convened as a frantic effort to de-escalate the tensions between the two nations.
The consequences of a war would be devastating for Ukraine and far-reaching for the global economy, Guterres added.
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The UN chief's comments come after Russian president Vladimir Putin announced a military operation in eastern Ukraine. According to media reports, missile strikes were reported in Ukrainian capital Kyiv and Kharkiv.
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"I have made the decision of a military operation," he said in a televised address, news agency AFP reported. Soon after the announcement, explosions were heard in the city of Mariupol.
Read: Russia launches 'military op' in Ukraine, missile strikes in capital: 10 facts
Earlier, Kremlin had claimed that the rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine had sought urgent Russian help against what they called aggressive Ukrainian armed forces.
Apart from the UN Secretary General, US president Joe Biden warned of a catastrophic loss of life after Putin made the military operation announcement in a televised address.
“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,” Biden tweeted.
“I'll be monitoring the situation from White House this evening and get regular updates from my national security team,” the US president added.
Remember, Ukraine has already declared a state of emergency, mobilising the military reserves much ahead of the Russian military operations. "The people of Ukraine and the government of Ukraine want peace. But if the nation comes under an attack, we will fight back,” Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president had said in his address to the nation.
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(With inputs from AFP, Reuters)