"A vast invasion is underway, by land, by air, and by sea," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Thursday, denouncing the Russian attack on Ukraine as a "hideous and barbaric venture" from Vladimir Putin that "must end in failure." Johnson described the invasion as an unprovoked attack on a democratic country and vowed that Britain and its allies would "hobble" Russia with sanctions, the BBC reports. After Putin announced military action, President Biden called it the start of a "premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering" and said the world will hold Russia accountable. He tweeted that he will meet G7 leaders Thursday morning and the US and its allies plan "severe sanctions." The president plans to address the American people after the virtual meeting, reports the Washington Post.
Lawmakers from both parties called for "crushing" sanctions on Russia after Putin's announcement, Politico reports. Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen said the Russian leader "must be made to rue the day he unleashed this unprovoked violence in the heart of Europe," while the top Republicans on the House Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, and Intelligence committees issued a statement calling for "the strongest possible sanctions and export controls to cripple Russia’s ability to make war, punish its barbarity and relegate the Putin regime to the status of an international pariah."
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Western nations were "closely aligned" in seeking "massive and targeted sanctions" against Russia. China, however, not only failed to condemn the attack, it approved imports of Russian wheat Thursday, a move that could blunt the impact of Western sanctions, the AP reports. (Read more Ukraine stories.)