WASHINGTON: President Biden on Wednesday expressed solidarity with Ukraine as Russia launched what Biden described as an "unprovoked and unjustified attack," with shelling reported in multiple Ukrainian cities.
"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 in a statement released by the White House.
"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 added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Wednesday night that he was launching a military operation in eastern Ukraine in what many interpreted as a declaration of war on Ukraine. Reporters and witnesses on the ground reported a short time later the sounds of shelling in multiple cities.
Biden is set to meet with Group of Seven allies on Thursday morning and will deliver remarks on next steps targeting Russia.