President Joe Biden has confirmed a military attack in Ukraine by Russian forces, calling it “unprovoked and unjustified.”

The U.S. president said he would be meeting with G7 allies on Thursday morning and address the American people.

After reports of explosions in the Ukrainian cities of Kyiv and Kharkiv, Biden said in a statement:

“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. 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.

“I will be monitoring the situation from the White House this evening and will continue to get regular updates from my national security team. 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. We will also coordinate with our NATO Allies to ensure a strong, united response that deters any aggression against the Alliance. Tonight, Jill and I are praying for the brave and proud people of Ukraine.”

Russian president Vladimir Putin announced that Russian forces would be conducting a military operation in Ukraine, Thursday, saying any outside interference would be met with “consequences you have never seen,” according to AP News.

“I have a few words for those who could feel tempted to interfere with ongoing developments: whoever tries to impede us, let alone create threats for our country and its people must know that the Russian response will be immediate and lead to the consequences you have never seen in history,” Putin said in a television address.

Putin added that the U.S. and NATO allies ignored Russia’s plea to keep Ukraine out of NATO.

With Russia moving military forces to the Ukrainian border in the past few days, the U.S. responded with sanctions. Most notably, the two biggest state-owned banks will have their accounts frozen and unable to make transactions with the U.S. or Europe, according to Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday.

“So, some of the people who were sanctioned yesterday are repeat people that we have sanctioned in the past,” Psaki said. “But the additional step we took was that we sanctioned family members, because what we’ve seen in terms of tactics that they’ve used in the past, is they have moved — they’re very sophisticated, some of these oligarchs; no surprise — they’ve moved money around to children, to family members so they could still have access to it. And we wanted to reduce the likelihood of that.”

LA Weekly