World Leaders Urge Russia to Withdraw as Putin Declares War on Ukraine

By Sonal Nain, 24 Feb 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared war on Ukraine. He announced a military operation in Ukraine to defend the separatists in the east of the country, in the Donbas region. Putin even called on Ukrainian service members to “lay down their arms and go home” and justified the invasion by claiming that there was an ongoing “genocide” in Ukraine’s east. Thereafter, massive explosions were heard in Kyiv and other regions of the besieged country.

In response to Putin’s declaration of war, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy imposed martial law in the country that would impose more stringent restrictions, such as bans on meetings, movements and political parties. He said that Russia had carried out missile strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure and the country’s border guards. 

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened up the emergency Security Council meeting by urgently appealing to Putin to withdraw his troops. He says Russia’s attack on Ukraine is “the saddest moment” of his five-year tenure.

“In the name of humanity do not allow to start in Europe what could be the worst war since the beginning of the century, with consequences not only devastating for Ukraine, not only tragic for the Russian Federation, but with an impact, we cannot even foresee in relation to the consequences for the global economy,” Guterres added.

US President Joe Biden condemned the “unprovoked and unjustified” attack on Ukraine. He promptly warned of “consequences” for Russia and said the world would “hold Russia accountable” for its actions. “President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,” Biden said in a statement.