Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the United States and leaders from around the world have condemned Russia's "unprovoked and unjustified attack" of Ukraine on Wednesday after President Vladimir Putin announced a "special military operation" in the country.
President Joe Biden late Wednesday issued a statement saying that Putin "has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering."
"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," Biden 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. The world will hold Russia accountable."
The Russian president said that Russia doesn’t plan to occupy Ukraine and said that the Ukrainian military should "immediately lay down its arms."
Commenting on the situation in Ukraine on Wednesday, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said on Twitter it was the "first time in 80 years that a great power has moved to conquer a sovereign nation" and that it was "without justification, provocation and without honor."
He blamed "tepid" responses to Russia's previous "horrors" in Georgia and Crimea, the "naïve efforts at a one-sided reset" during the Obama administration, and Trump’s "America First."
"History shows that a tyrant’s appetite for conquest is never satiated," he said, adding that "America and our allies must protect freedom by subjecting Putin and Russia to the harshest economic penalties, by expelling them from global institutions, and by committing ourselves to the expansion and modernization of our national defense."
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) shared a string of posts on Twitter about Ukraine Wednesday night, saying that there was a "full scale & comprehensive military assault" underway throughout the country.
"Airborne & amphibious landings, missile strikes from air, ground & naval forces, electronic & cyber attacks & a large ground force to occupy a large swath of territory," Rubio said, adding in another post that while Ukraine is "outgunned and outmanned," they are "brave & tough fighters and as the world will soon learn they have already inflicted damage on Russian invaders."
"One very concerning development is Russia has carried out a few targeted operations uncomfortably close to the Polish border," Rubio said in another post, adding, "This is the danger of miscalculation & human error that can quickly lead to a catastrophic escalation."
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said on Twitter that the "USA stands with Ukraine."
"We pray for the people of Ukraine as they defend against Putin’s attempt to rebuild the old Soviet Union," she added. "Biden must stand up to Putin and immediately levy severe sanctions against Russia—starting with removal from the SWIFT banking system."
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that an "attack on Ukraine is an attack on democracy."
She said she "applauded" Biden for his "forceful leadership in imposing the first tranche of swift & severe sanctions to counter Russian aggression" adding that, "The U.S. & our allies stand together in our unwavering support of the Ukrainian people."
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) also shared his prayers with Ukraine, adding that it is "imperative that we continue to provide Ukraine with defensive weapons as well as good intelligence," and that the world needs to "condemn Putin’s destruction of a neighboring democracy as a war crime."
"Putin and his cronies should be pursued by international law enforcement agencies for the purpose of seizing their lavish apartments, fine art, yachts, and other material goods purchased through stealing the Russian people blind. It's time to make this personal to Putin," Graham said.
Outside the United States, government leaders from multiple countries also condemned Russia's actions in Ukraine.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called Russia's invasion of Ukraine "brutal" and "unprovoked," while announcing new sanctions on 25 more individuals and four financial institutions, including "commanders, deputy defense ministers, and Russian mercenaries who have been responsible for the unprovoked and unacceptable aggression."
French President Emmanuel Macron said that his country "strongly condemns Russia's decision to wage war on Ukraine" and that Russia must "immediately" end military operations in Ukraine.
Elsewhere, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced Thursday that the EU will block Russia’s access to critical technology and other markets to hold Putin accountable over his decision to invade Ukraine.
"We will target the strategic sectors of the Russian economy by blocking the access to technologies and markets that are key for Russia," von der Leyen said in a statement. "We will weaken Russia's economic base and its capacity to modernize. And in addition, we will freeze Russian assets in the European Union and stop the access of Russian banks to European financial markets."