The State Department has suspended its presence in Ukraine on Thursday as Russia launched its invasion overnight across Ukraine’s border, a U.S. official told The Wall Street Journal.
The U.S. had already closed its embassy in Kyiv earlier in February, with most diplomats leaving the country. The remaining personnel had moved to Lviv prior to Thursday’s announcement.
U.S. suspends remaining diplomatic presence in Ukraine https://t.co/Xnowr7sTB4
— WSJ Politics (@WSJPolitics) February 24, 2022
The news follows a statement by President Joe Biden late Wednesday regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, calling it a “premeditated war” that will bring “a catastrophic loss of life.”
Biden released the statement from the White House late Wednesday night as reports began to announce Russian President Vladimir Putin’s first attacks inside Ukraine’s borders.
“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,” Biden began in his statement.
The president also clearly noted Russia’s responsibility in starting the conflict and the need for accountability.
“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 added.
Biden said he is continuing to monitor the unfolding situation from the White House, according to the statement. He also plans to meet with leaders of the G7 nations on Thursday.
“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,” the president stated.
In addition to Biden, numerous world leaders have spoken out against Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
“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,” Jens Stoltenberg, secretary-general of NATO, said in a statement.
“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,” he added.
Multiple Republican Senators have also condemned the attacks.
“Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked, naked war of aggression must face the most severe consequences. I urge President Biden to finally impose these consequences. And I join all Arkansans in praying for the safety of innocent Ukrainians,” Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton stated.
Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked, naked war of aggression must face the most severe consequences. I urge President Biden to finally impose these consequences. And I join all Arkansans in praying for the safety of innocent Ukrainians.
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) February 24, 2022
“Biden must recognize the gravity & severity of this moment & do everything in his power to protect the safety & security of the American people,” Tennessee Republican Sen. Bill Hagerty added.
Biden must recognize the gravity & severity of this moment & do everything in his power to protect the safety & security of the American people.
— Senator Bill Hagerty (@SenatorHagerty) February 24, 2022