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On February 24th, the Russian Federation launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in direct violation of international law and its previous commitments to recognize the independence of Ukraine. President Putin justified his actions with his own distorted view of Ukrainian history and fabrications about attacks on the local Russian population. The United States and its allies are responding with coordinated sanctions and unconditional support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Even countries that have traditionally avoided criticism of the world’s larger powers have responded to Putin’s dark aggression with statements condemning Moscow and standing up for Ukraine. 

With Putin’s unprovoked attack upon its neighbor, which by many accounts includes brutal attacks upon civilian targets, we have reached a defining moment in twenty-first century European history, with global ramifications. If Putin succeeds in his naked, illegal invasion, it would throw into doubt the security and economic architecture upon which much of the world has long relied.