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Russian President Putin today announced a open military invasion of Ukraine today, calling the action a "special military operation" to disarm and "denazify" the country. The move comes after rebels in East Ukraine asked for Russian military assistance against the Ukrainian government and comes after Ukraine's own President went on television to plead directly with the Russian people to stop their government from launching the war. Putin justified the invasion by again falsely claiming that Russians in Ukraine were persecuted and subjected to ethnic cleansing and genocide.

Just after Putin's speech, witnesses in Ukraine began reporting loud explosions.

In his speech Putin said Russia would destroy any and all who get in their way. At one point, referencing the build up of American and other NATO forces on Russia's borders, Putin said the Russian response to an American incursion into Russian soil or interference in the Ukraine conflict would involve Russian nuclear weapons detonating over America's biggest population centers. It is not yet clear what impact the attempt at nuclear blackmail is having on discussions in DC and in Brussels this evening. It is the first time since the end of the Cold War that a Russian government has made a direct threat to launch a thermo nuclear attack on the US mainland.

The response from US President Biden was swift. In a statement the President said that Russia would pay a heavy price. The White House has told the media that Biden will address the nation on Thursday morning to announce additional sanctions and any military response in the event that the administration decides to more directly support Ukraine. Sources say that administration is still weighing all options including military involvement in the conflict.

In the Russian President's own speech, it appeared that he intended that after disarming Ukraine, he intended to limit Russian military operations to the Eastern half of Ukraine. Responding to statements from Biden, Johnson, and other NATO leaders, Putin said any interference from them would soon lead to "consequences they have never seen" in their liftetimes. The statement is viewed by many experts as a threat to nuke capitals and other major cities in the NATO alliance including London, Berlin, Paris, Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles, Rome, and others. While people familiar with the situation say that the conflict will result in tens of thousands of dead and wounded, a nuclear war could reduce the world's population to barely a third of its current levels.

Ukraine's President said he had attempted throughout the day to call Putin but that the Russian President had refused to accept his call.

This is a breaking news development and information is still coming out.

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