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‘Dark Day for Europe': World Leaders Condemn Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

Samuel Corum | Bloomberg | Getty Images
  • World leaders strongly condemned Russia's act of aggression as President Vladimir Putin ordered an attack on Ukraine early Thursday local time.
  • U.S. President Joe Biden: "The world will hold Russia accountable."
  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba: "An attack on the world order."
  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz: "Dark day for Europe."

World leaders condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine after President Vladimir Putin declared the start of a military operation in the early hours of Thursday local time.

Within hours, leaders from the United Sates, Germany and the United Kingdom, among others, criticized the Kremlin for the attack.

The following are their remarks and statements.

U.S. President Joe Biden: "The world will hold Russia accountable."

The prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces.

President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering. 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.

The world will hold Russia accountable.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson: "Appalled by the horrific events in Ukraine"

I am appalled by the horrific events in Ukraine and I have spoken to President Zelenskyy to discuss next steps. President Putin has chosen a path of bloodshed and destruction by launching this unprovoked attack on Ukraine. The UK and our allies will respond decisively.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz: "Dark day for Europe."

The Russian attack on Ukraine is a blatant violation of international law. There is no justification for it. Germany condemns this reckless act by President Putin in the strongest possible terms. Our solidarity is with Ukraine and its people.

Russia must stop this military action immediately. Within the framework of the G7, Nato and the EU, we will coordinate closely today. This is a terrible day for Ukraine and a dark day for Europe.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg: "Grave breach of international law"

I strongly condemn Russia's reckless and unprovoked attack on Ukraine, which puts at risk countless civilian lives. Once again, despite our repeated warnings and tireless efforts to engage in diplomacy, Russia has chosen the path of aggression against a sovereign and independent country.

This is a grave breach of international law, and a serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security. I call on Russia to cease its military action immediately and respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. NATO Allies will meet to address the consequences of Russia's aggressive actions. We stand with the people of Ukraine at this terrible time. NATO will do all it takes to protect and defend all Allies. 

Canada Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau: "Russia's brazen acts will not go unpunished."

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.

Russia's actions will be met with severe consequences. ...

... In the face of these attacks on Ukraine, Canada will take additional action to stop Russia's unwarranted aggression. We continue to stand with Ukraine, its people, and the Ukrainian Canadian community here in Canada. Russia's brazen acts will not go unpunished.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba: "An attack on the world order."

There is right now heavy fighting happening and as I told you previously, we will be fighting for our country.

We are calling on the US — on the West — to immediately implement heavy sanctions including immediate disconnection of Russia from the SWIFT [ Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications] system.

We need access to more heavy weaponry, financial assistance. We are calling for the fierce isolation of Russia — this is an attack on the world order.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: "An attack on democracy"

An attack on Ukraine is an attack on democracy. I applaud @POTUS for his forceful leadership in imposing the first tranche of swift & severe sanctions to counter Russian aggression. The U.S. & our allies stand together in our unwavering support of the Ukrainian people.

Joint statement by European Council and European Commission: "We call on Russia to immediately cease the hostilities."

We condemn in the strongest possible terms Russia's unprecedented military aggression against Ukraine. By its unprovoked and unjustified military actions, Russia is grossly violating international law and undermining European and global security and stability. We deplore the loss of life and the human suffering.

We call on Russia to immediately cease the hostilities, withdraw its military from Ukraine and fully respect Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence. Such use of force and coercion has no place in the 21st century. The EU stands firmly by Ukraine and its people as they face this unparalleled crisis.

The EU leaders will meet later today. President Michel of the European Council has urgently convened an extraordinary meeting of the European Council to discuss the crisis and further restrictive measures. These will impose massive and severe consequences on Russia for its actions...

The EU will continue to provide strong political, financial and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and its people. 

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