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Trudeau calls Russian invasion of Ukraine 'egregious attack'

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World leaders have begun to respond as Russia moves military forces into Ukraine early Thursday, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemning the action as an “egregious attack.”

“These unprovoked actions are a clear further violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Trudeau said in a statement.

“Canada calls on Russia to immediately cease all hostile and provocative actions against Ukraine and withdraw all military and proxy forces from the country. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected and the Ukrainian people must be free to determine their own future.”

Earlier, U.S. President Joe Biden called Russia’s move an “unprovoked and unjustified attack.”

Biden said in a statement that “the prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight.”

“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,” he said. “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.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in a televised address that Russia would be performing a military operation within Ukraine in response to threats, claiming that the goal is not to occupy the country.

He stated that the Ukrainian “regime” would be responsible for any bloodshed.

This comes after weeks of rising tensions and warnings from Biden and other world leaders that an invasion from Russia could be imminent. Putin signed a decree Tuesday recognizing two regions in eastern Ukraine occupied by pro-Russian separatists as independent entities.

Both Trudeau and Biden added in their statements that they would be meeting with G7 nations the following morning to discuss the situation and coordinate with NATO partners on a response.

“In the face of these attacks on Ukraine, Canada will take additional action to stop Russia’s unwanted aggression,” Trudeau stated. 

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly stated in a tweet that “Russia’s egregious and unprovoked attack on Ukraine is a challenge to democracy, the likes of which reached new heights today.”

“These acts, with profound human consequences, will not go unpunished,” she continued. “Canada stands with the people of Ukraine.”

The United Kingdom has weighed in as well, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeting that he is “appalled by the horrific events in Ukraine” and had already spoken to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“President Putin has chosen a path of bloodshed and destruction by launching this unprovoked attack on Ukraine,” Johnson stated.

“The U.K. and our allies will respond decisively.”

Bob Rae, Canada’s representative to the United Nations, tweeted in response to the Russian action, calling it a “grotesque warcrime.”

“Unprovoked, evil, aggression,” he continued in further tweets. “From a permanent member of the Security Council, during a meeting of the Security Council of the United Nations.”

"When Pearl Harbour happened the meetings stopped. C’mon people, stop pretending. War has started."

He was referencing a late-night meeting of the UN Security Council which was taking place while Russian forces moved into Ukraine.

During that meeting, the Ukrainian ambassador, Sergiy Kyslytsya, addressed his Russian counterpart, Vasily Nebenzya, who is the council’s current president, calling on him to step down as chair and tell Putin to “stop the aggression.”

“There is no purgatory for war criminals,” he said. “They go straight to hell, ambassador.” 

Within an hour of Putin announcing the “military operation,” those on the ground in Ukraine were reporting the sound of explosions.

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