Russia Ukraine conflict

Russia plans on ‘decapitating’ Ukraine’s government: US defense official

The senior US defense official said the world witnessed the “initial phases of a large-scale invasion.”

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The Pentagon said Thursday that Russia’s attack on Ukraine was meant to “decapitate” the government in Kyiv.

“It is our assessment that they have every intention of basically decapitating the government and installing their own means of governance,” a senior Pentagon official told reporters.


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At dawn on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a so-called special operation on Ukraine.

But Ukraine’s top diplomat said it was not “a Russian invasion only in the east of Ukraine, but a full-scale attack from multiple directions.”

The US defense official said the world witnessed the “initial phases of a large-scale invasion.”

The official cited over 100 missiles launched by Russia and another 75 Russian fighter jets during the “initial onslaught.”

US President Joe Biden is scheduled to speak shortly 1:30 pm EST, where he is expected to announce more sanctions against Russia.

In the morning, Biden met with G7 leaders to discuss “their joint response to President Putin’s unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine,” the White House said.

“This morning, I met with my G7 counterparts to discuss President Putin’s unjustified attack on Ukraine and we agreed to move forward on devastating packages of sanctions and other economic measures to hold Russia to account. We stand with the brave people of Ukraine,” the US president tweeted.

Biden also met with his National Security Council to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine.

The US announced the “first tranche” of sanctions on Russia on Tuesday in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine by cutting off Western financing for the country’s sovereign debt.

Read more: Russian ground forces cross into Ukraine as death toll climbs

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