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Tipsheet

BREAKING: Russia's Invasion of Ukraine Has Begun

Yuri Kochetkov/Pool Photo via AP

Vladimir Putin announced the beginning of a "special military operation" in Ukraine as Wednesday turned into Thursday in Eastern Europe, even as the U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting condemning Russia's aggression toward Ukraine. 

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Putin's televised remarks came just before 6:00 a.m. Moscow time and included a threat to the west — including the United States and NATO countries in Europe — that intervening on Ukraine's behalf would lead to a response from Russia with "consequences" that western countries "never have had before in your history."

Videos have already begun to emerge from Ukrainian cities including Kharkiv that seem to show explosions lighting up the night sky. Explosions could also be heard in the background of news broadcasts from Ukraine's capital, Kyiv. 

As Katie reported here, Putin's announcement followed a passionate speech delivered by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that called for peace. 

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U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) tweeted just before Putin's announcement that "The Russian invasion of Ukraine is now underway" and continued to share what he could about Putin's next steps. 

Putin's announcement came after Biden's Secretary of State Antony Blinken told NBC Nightly News' Lester Holt that he "can't put a date or an exact time on it" but "everything is in place for Russia to move forward."

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claimed that President Biden is staying updated on the situation unfolding in Ukraine as Americans' support for Biden's handling of Russia continues to wane. 

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The latest from the White House Wednesday night was a statement from President Biden saying "the prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight."

But as Katie pointed out earlier on Twitter, it was then-Vice President Joe Biden who shamefully helped prevent Ukraine from becoming a NATO country:

This is a breaking story and may be updated.

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