Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday dared the unimaginable by announcing a 'military operation" against Ukraine.
The move is ostensibly for what he said on television protecting the breakaway Ukrainian region Donbas.
"I have made the decision of a military operation," he said shortly before 6:00 am (0300 GMT) in Moscow.
Few internationally guessed at Putin seriously going out on a limb with his surprise decision; alongside declaring the operation, he rhetorically vowed retaliation against anyone who interfered with Moscow's decision, according to reports.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hour before Putin's war-cry had candidly said Ukraine was not and would not pose a threat to Russia.
"You are being told that Ukraine can pose a threat to Russia" he emotionally appealed in Russian.
"It was not like this in the past, it is not like this now and it will not be so in the future. You demand security guarantees from NATO. We also demand guarantees of our security - from you, from Russia, and other guarantors of the Budapest memorandum," Zelenskyy was quoted as saying.
Ukrainian President was refuting Moscow's claims of Ukraine posing a threat to Russia.
He predicted the worst case of Russian invasion at the cost of tens of thousands of lives. White House again roundly warned Putin facing 'significant consequence" in the event of invading Ukraine.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sternly rebuked Russia saying that by recognizing breakaway Ukrainian regions Russian was violating UN principles.
"The latest developments regarding Ukraine are a cause of grave concern," he said on Wednesday at a meeting of the General Assembly.
In order to ram home the critical situation, he has pointed at the world is facing 'a moment of peril', referring to the pandemic.
Putin has coldshouldered international criticism over his precarious decisions, causing many Western leaders to consider him not national anymore.
On Wednesday the United Nations Security Council met for the second emergency session in three days over the crisis.