Russia's Ukraine invasion a ‘glaring violation’ of international rights

Updated on Feb 24, 2022 12:12 PM IST

Russia-Ukraine crisis: Vladimir Putin has announced a 'military operation' and said responsibility for bloodshed would be on the conscience of the Ukrainian government.

People take shelter in a subway station, after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a military operation in eastern Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine February 24, 2022. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko(REUTERS)
People take shelter in a subway station, after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a military operation in eastern Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine February 24, 2022. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko(REUTERS)

Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a "glaring violation" of international rights, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Thursday, joining the growing chorus of voices condemning the military operation.

"Germany condemns in the strongest possible terms this unscrupulous act by President Putin. Our solidarity goes out to Ukraine and its people," Scholz said in a statement.

The German leader joins US President Joe Biden, UN chief Antonio Guterres, and others in denouncing Russia's attack on Ukraine, which Indian today warned could spiral into a major crisis.

Guterres issued a heartfelt plea to Russia today, as urged Putin to stop the war ‘in the name of humanity’

Biden will meet with the G7 today to map out more severe measures against Russia after President Vladimir Putin launched what the American leader called "a premeditated war" against Ukraine.

The US president said Washington would coordinate with NATO allies "to ensure a strong, united response that deters aggression against the alliance."

The White House has said Biden and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke late last night (shortly after Russia's invasion) and vowed all possible "support and assistance".

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also condemned Russia's actions and said Putin had chosen 'a path of bloodshed and destruction by launching this unprovoked attack'.

European Union chiefs Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel have warned Russia it will be held accountable for its actions.

"These unprovoked actions are a clear further violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and of Russia's obligations under international law and the Charter of the UN," Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

NATO ambassadors will hold an emergency meeting later today, an official told Reuters. NATO head Jens Stoltenberg said Russia had 'chosen the path of aggression against a sovereign and independent country'.

Both the UK and the US have already announced financial sanctions against Russian banks and individuals, including hundreds of lawmakers who had approved military action in Ukraine.

The EU has already agreed an initial round of sanctions and more (and much tougher ones) are expected after a meeting scheduled for later today.

Putin, early this morning, said he was announcing a 'military operation' and, in a worrying statement, said that responsibility for any bloodshed would be on the conscience of the Ukrainian government. 

In the following hours explosions were heard in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv - from where news agency Reuters reported missile strikes - and the breakaway city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. 

Explosions were also heard from the city of Mariupol, and reports have emerged of Russian forces using 'precision weapons' to target military installations.

Ukraine has restricted passenger flights; a flight from Delhi to bring back Indians stranded in the country was forced to return this morning.

European airlines have been warned not to fly over or near Ukraine.

With input from AFP, Reuters

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