KYIV, Ukraine — President Joe Biden responded Wednesday night after reports of missile strikes were heard in several cities in Ukraine.
"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," Biden said in a statement.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation in Ukraine, claiming it's intended to protect civilians.
In a televised address early Thursday, Putin said the action comes in response to threats coming from Ukraine. He added that Russia doesn't have a goal to occupy Ukraine.
Putin says the responsibility for the bloodshed lies with the Ukrainian "regime." Putin is warning other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to "consequences they have never seen."
CNN reported that staff on the ground in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, heard a "steady stream of loud explosions." Another CNN team reported hearing explosions in Kyiv as well.
Biden said Russia is responsible for the death and destruction from this attack.
"The United States and its allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way," Biden said. "The world will hold Russia accountable."
Biden said he will meet with his G7 counterparts Thursday morning and then address the American people about "further consequences" being imposed on Russia.
"We will also coordinate with our NATO Allies to ensure a strong, united response that deters any aggression against the alliance," Biden said.