After months of tension and a diplomatic effort to avoid war, Russia’s attack on Thursday has drawn international condemnation and many fear it could herald the start of Europe’s worst conflict since 1945.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on the evening of February 23-24 that Russia had joined the war on Ukraine, sweeping away months of international diplomatic efforts to avoid conflict at all costs.
After recognizing the independence of the pro-Russian separatist territory of Donbass, the Russian president announced at dawn on Monday, February 21, a “military operation” against the country’s main cities, which woke up to the alarm amid the noise of counter-bombing device.
>> Read: “The Ukraine War: Six Questions About the Beginning of the Russian Offensive”
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba immediately condemned Russia for starting a “large-scale invasion.” By Thursday night, 100,000 Ukrainians had fled their country, hoping to take refuge in neighboring countries, which said they were ready to welcome them.
The Russian offensive comes eight years after Moscow annexed Crimea and backed pro-Russian separatists to take over parts of Donbas, sparking a regional conflict that has claimed more than 14,000 lives.
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