Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a speech early Thursday morning in Moscow, announced that Russia would launch military action in Ukraine. NBC News reported that explosions were heard in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.
US President Joe Biden condemned the attack. “The world will hold Russia to account,” he said.
stock futures contracts US markets fell As the news broke. The United Nations Security Council just held an emergency meeting on Wednesday night.
Earlier, European and US officials rushed to punish Russia on Wednesday, in response to its deployment of troops in eastern Ukraine with a series of economic sanctions.
With growing fears of escalating Russian aggression, Ukraine has warned its citizens not to travel to Russia and to leave the country immediately if they are already there. The move came after Putin said on Wednesday that Moscow was “always open” to diplomacy, days after ordering troops to be sent into eastern Ukraine and recognizing the independence of two self-declared republics in the region.
The European Union was due to hold an emergency meeting on Thursday, and is said to be considering another round of sanctions against Russian personnel. Officials from the United Kingdom and the United States also announced or threatened further retaliation after they unveiled the initial tranches this week.