Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday announced a military operation in Ukraine, claiming it’s intended to protect civilians.
In a televised address, Putin said the action comes in response to threats coming from Ukraine. He added that Russia doesn’t have a goal to occupy Ukraine. Putin said the responsibility for bloodshed lies with the Ukrainian ‘regime.’
Putin warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to ‘consequences they have never seen.’
UN chief urges Putin to ‘give peace a chance’
Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told Russian President Vladimir Putin to not send Russian troops against Ukraine and ‘give peace a chance’.
Guterres opened an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council late Wednesday saying the day was full of rumours and indications that an offensive against Ukraine is imminent.
In the recent past, Guterres says he never believed rumours that Russia would invade Ukraine and was ‘convinced that nothing serious would happen’.
But, he adds: “I was wrong, and I like not to be wrong again. So if indeed an operation is being prepared I have only one thing to say from the bottom of my heart: Stop your troops from attacking Ukraine. Give peace a chance. Too many people have already died.’