President Vladimir Putin said Russia’s military operation in Ukraine is in response to threats.
He accused the US and its allies of ignoring Russia’s demands to stop Ukraine from joining NATO. President Joe Biden on Wednesday condemned Russia’s “unprovoked and unjustified attack” on Ukraine as he vowed that the world will hold Russia and President Vladimir Putin accountable.
“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,” Biden said in a statement after Putin announced military action against Ukraine. Biden said he will address the nation on Thursday to announce additional steps the U.S. will take beyond sanctions already imposed.
Just minutes before, President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address overnight on Wednesday that Russia will conduct a military operation in eastern Ukraine.
Putin said the action comes in response to threats coming from Ukraine. He added that Russia doesn’t have a goal to occupy the country. Putin said the responsibility for bloodshed lies with the Ukrainian “regime.” As Putin spoke, big explosions were heard in Kyiv, Kharkiv and other areas of Ukraine. More: Russia just invaded Ukraine. What that could mean for energy prices, global security and more Putin warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to “consequences they have never seen.”
He said the Russian military operation aims to ensure a “demilitarization” of Ukraine. Putin said that all Ukrainian servicemen who lay down arms will be able to safely leave the zone of combat. The announcement came as the UN Security Council was poised to meet in New York, in its second emergency session of the week, this one called by Ukraine. 
Earlier Wednesday, a senior Pentagon official said that Russia has massed nearly all the forces – infantry, artillery, cruise and ballistic missiles – it will need to mount a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Those forces include two dozen warships in the Black Sea and represent nearly 100% of the combat power needed for a large-scale, said the official who briefed reporters but was not authorized to speak publicly.  More: ‘Murkiness and doubt’: Putin playbook meant to throw White House, allies off balance on Ukraine invasion Russia has deployed more than 150,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders with “every indication” that they are poised for an imminent attack, Pentagon press secretary John