Barack Obama, Meghan Markle and more react to Russian invasion of Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin launched strikes Wednesday against Ukraine, which has reportedly killed at least 40 people

A slew of high profile personalities have reacted to Russian’s invasion of Ukraine.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their support for the Ukrainian people in a new statement posted to their Archewell Foundation website.

“Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and all of us at Archewell stand with the people of Ukraine against this breach of international and humanitarian law and encourage the global community and its leaders to do the same,” a statement posted to the Archewell website on Thursday read. 

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Russian President Vladimir Putin launched strikes Wednesday against Ukraine, which has reportedly killed at least 40 people, theGrio reported. After the invasion began, Putin said he would demilitarize and “de-Nazify” Ukraine, BBC reported. Russia threatened severe consequences if Western countries chose to intervene. 

“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,” said President Joe Biden during Thursday’s press conference at the White House. “Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way,” Biden continued, adding, “The world will hold Russia accountable.”

Former President Barack Obama released a statement in which he noted that the consequences of Russia’s “reckless actions” will go far beyond Ukraine’s borders, The Hill reported.

“For some time now, we have seen the forces of division and authoritarianism make headway around the world, mounting an assault on the ideals of democracy, rule of law, equality, individual liberty, freedom of expression and worship, and self-determination. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shows where these dangerous trends can lead — and why they cannot be left unchallenged,” he said.

Obama called Russia’s “Illegal” attack a “violation of international law” and the “basic principles of human decency.”

Former US President Barack Obama (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

“People of conscience around the world need to loudly and clearly condemn Russia’s actions and offer support for the Ukrainian people. And every American, regardless of party, should support President Biden’s efforts, in coordination with our closest allies, to impose hard-hitting sanctions on Russia — sanctions that impose a real price on Russia’s autocratic elites,” Obama wrote.

Meanwhile, leaders have warned of trade and export restrictions and heavy sanctions to come for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing “the largest and most severe package of economic sanctions that Russia has ever seen.”

The U.S. is stepping up sanctions against Russian oligarchs and banks that hold Russian money, theGrio reported. Other sanctions include cutting off exports to the country. The sanctions go beyond a singular person and extend to the targeted person and their families. 

Obama, however, has noted that there could be “economic consequences to such sanctions, given Russia’s significant role in world energy markets,” he said. 

“But that’s a price would be willing to pay to take a stand on the side of freedom,” Obama continued. “For over the long term, we all face a choice, between a world in which might makes right and autocrats are free to impose their will through force, or a world in which free people everywhere have the power to determine their own future.”

The unfolding Ukraine crisis has also prompted reactions from celebrities including acclaimed author Stephen King and Grammy-winning rapper Cardi B

“What most of us learned as kids on the playground: You don’t stand by while a big kid beats up a little kid,” wrote King on Twitter. “You might take a punch or two making the big kid stop, but that’s the right thing to do.”

Cardi B tweeted: “Wish these world leaders [would] stop tripping about power and really think about who’s really getting affected (citizens) besides the whole world is in a crisis. War, sanctions, invasions should be the last thing these leaders should worry about.”

This article contains additional reporting from theGrio’s White House Correspondent April Ryan.

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The post Barack Obama, Meghan Markle and more react to Russian invasion of Ukraine appeared first on TheGrio.

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