Russia’s military operation into Ukraine is the initial phase of a broader “large-scale invasion” which will look to incapacitate Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital city, according to a senior U.S. defense official.
Fox News reported that the official discussed three “main axes of assault,” one of which would target Kyiv.
“It’s our assessment that they have every intention of basically decapitating the government,” the official said, specifying that “they’re making a move on Kyiv.”
According to the official, the invasion appears to be in an “initial phase,” adding that the war is expected to be “very bloody, very costly, and very impactful on European security writ large, perhaps for a long, long time to come.”
Putin first announced the launch of a “specialized military operation” in Ukraine’s Donbas region during a televised address at 5:55 a.m. Moscow time on Thursday (9:55 p.m. E.T. on Wednesday). Part of the Donbas region has been occupied by Russian-backed rebels since the last invasion of 2014.
Putin also pledged to demilitarize and “de-Nazify” Ukraine.
“I have taken the decision to carry out a special military operation,” Putin said. “Its goal will be to defend people who for eight years are suffering persecution and genocide by the Kyiv regime. For this we will aim for demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine, as well as taking to court those who carried out multiple bloody crimes against civilians, including citizens of the Russian Federation.”
Putin then threatened anyone who may try and intervene.
“Anyone who tries to interfere with us, or even more so, to create threats for our country and our people, must know that Russia’s response will be immediate and will lead you to such consequences as you have never before experienced in your history,” Putin said. “We are ready for any turn of events.”
“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,” Biden said in a statement issued on Wednesday. “I will be monitoring the situation from the White House this evening and will continue to get regular updates from my national security team. Tomorrow, I will meet with my G7 counterparts in the morning and then speak to the American people to announce the further consequences the United States and our Allies and partners will impose on Russia for this needless act of aggression against Ukraine and global peace and security. We will also coordinate with our NATO Allies to ensure a strong, united response that deters any aggression against the Alliance. Tonight, Jill and I are praying for the brave and proud people of Ukraine.”
Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.
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