• Thu. May 19th, 2022

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‘Europe’s darkest hour’ since WWII: World leaders condemn Russia’s attack on Ukraine

World leaders have joined President Joe Biden in his condemnation of Russia’s attack on Ukraine and vowed to hold Moscow accountable.

“Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way,” Biden tweeted late Wednesday after Ukrainian officials reported that cruise or ballistic missiles targeted military control centers in the area around the capital, Kyiv, and attacks were reported elsewhere in the country. 

“The world will hold Russia accountable,” Biden added.

Many European leaders followed suit, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who said on Twitter that Russian President Vladimir Putin had “chosen the path of bloodshed.”

In a later televised address to the nation, Johnson said that “diplomatically, politically, economically and, eventually, militarily, this hideous and barbaric venture of Vladimir Putin must end in failure.”

French President Emmanuel Macron also tweeted that Russia should end its military operations immediately, while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called the invasion “a reckless act.”

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo tweeted that it was “Europe’s darkest hour” since World War II. “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Ukraine,” he said.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted that the European Union would “present a package of massive targeted sanctions” on Thursday.

Eastern European leaders were also quick to condemn Russia’s actions.

In Romania, which borders Ukraine to the south and could see an influx of refugees, President Klaus Iohannis called the invasion “another grave breach of international law.”

To Ukraine’s west, Polish President Andrzej Duda tweeted that Russia had violated the norms of international law, while Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala tweeted that Putin’s actions could not go unanswered.

Outside of Europe, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that Russia’s “unprovoked actions are a clear further violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison also told a news conference that his country was banding together with the international community “to condemn these outrageous acts in the strongest possible terms.”

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Russia’s actions “struck at the very core foundation of our international order,” while South Korea said it will join in the internationally coordinated slew of sanctions against Russia.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid also called the attack a “serious violation of the international order.” He added that his country “has experienced wars, and war is not the way to resolve conflicts.”

In Washington, Biden was set to meet with G7 leaders on Thursday to discuss ramping up sanctions against Russia.