Putin threatens West with 'consequences greater than any you have faced in history' if it intervenes in his invasion of Ukraine

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Putin threatens West with 'consequences greater than any you have faced in history' if it intervenes in his invasion of Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin giving his speech announcing the invasion of Ukraine, February 2022Kremlin
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin told Western countries to keep clear as he attacked Ukraine.
  • Early Thursday he said there'd be historically dire consequences for those who intervened.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a dire threat to Western nations on Thursday morning, saying they would face "consequences greater than any you have faced in history" if they become involved with his invasion of Ukraine.

He made the remarks as part of his speech that aired Thursday at 6 a.m. Moscow time in which he announced the invasion. Immediately after the speech, the Ukrainian foreign ministry reported attacks in numerous cities.

Putin used familiar arguments to justify the attack. He framed it as an act of self-defense against the eastward expansion of NATO and as a means of protecting Ukrainians from "nazification" and a "genocide."

Those lines have been roundly rejected by Western leaders. There is no evidence of a genocide taking place in Ukraine.

In the buildup to these events, the US warned that Russia would stage so-called false-flag operations and provocations to justify a war.

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Putin earlier this week ordered troops into eastern areas of Ukraine — Donetsk and Luhansk — held by separatist forces there.

It escalated Thursday into attacks on other parts of Ukraine, which Putin said was in response to separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk requesting help. Those new attacked tipped the conflict into war.

In the speech he addressed the leaders who have aligned in opposition to the invasion.

"To anyone who would consider interfering from outside: If you do, you will face consequences greater than any you have faced in history," he said, according to Politico's translation of the speech.

"All the relevant decisions have been taken. I hope you hear me."

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His speech also alluded to the substantial nuclear arsenal he commands, noting that Russia "is today one of the most powerful nuclear powers," per Politico's translation.

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