Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine in a television statement early on Thursday. Putin said Russia’s military action was aimed at demilitarisation of Ukraine and asked other countries to not intervene in their action as it could lead to dire consequences.
Hours after Putin announced the launch of a major offensive, explosions were heard in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv and the eastern port city of Maripol. A Russian missile hit airport Ivano-Frankivsk in Ukraine while Russian troops also launched an attack from annexed Crimea, Ukraine’s border guard service.
Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Putin has launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and even peaceful cities were under strikes.
Russia’s surprise attack has been condemned by world leaders including US President Joe Biden, who called the attack ‘unprovoked’ and ‘unjustified’.
Internet users have also condemned Putin’s action as most people fear that this military attack could trigger a mega crisis between the two countries and may lead to the next World War.
Hashtags such as ‘WWIII’ and ‘World War 3’ have been trending on Twitter since Russia launched the attack and people are weighing the consequences of surviving in a World War amidst a global pandemic.
Just got these antibodies and bastards are starting world war 3.
— Vir Das (@thevirdas) February 24, 2022
Trying to survive a pandemic while entering World War 3. — Ricky Smith (@Rickonia) February 24, 2022
Really hope we’re not watching World War 3 unravel on Twitter tonight
Praying for the safety of the people of Ukraine 🙏🏼
— TmarTn (@TmarTn) February 24, 2022
can we at least finish our pandemic era before we start our world war 3 era damn — ben de almeida (@benoftheweek) February 24, 2022
My generation isn’t getting any breathing space at all.
A pandemic with different strains, & now World War 3?
— Rinu Oduala 🔥🔫 (@SavvyRinu) February 24, 2022
The Russia-Ukraine tussle goes back to 2014, when rebels backed by Putin seized many parts of East Ukraine. An international Minsk peace accord was signed between the two countries to halt the armed conflict in east Ukraine. However, Putin had asked the US and its allies in 2021 to stop Ukraine from joining NATO, a defensive alliance of 30 countries and offer Moscow security.
Accusing the US for not agreeing to his demands, Putin has now said that Ukraine was never a country but a puppet in the hands of the West. Russia deployed at least 200,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders in the recent months and launched an attack today, 24 February, on Ukraine and its two rebel-held eastern regions, Donetsk and Luhansk, thereby tearing up the Minsk peace accord.
Meanwhile, Ukraine has declared martial law and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has appealed to world leaders to impose all possible sanctions as Putin heads to destroy Ukraine