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Editorial: Global order's future dependent on Ukraine crisis response

Russia has begun a military invasion of Ukraine. It has ignored the warnings of the international community and trampled on international law. It is an outrageous invasive act. The attacks should be stopped immediately.

    Military facilities across Ukraine have been attacked with missiles. The sounds of explosions echoed as Russia bombed an airport on the outskirts of the capital Kyiv. The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation announced it had neutralized the Ukrainian military's air defense systems. Russian attacks had also reportedly reached a number of major cities in the country's south and east.

    The Ukrainian government condemned the attack as "full-scale," targeting multiple cities. Many people have reportedly been injured or killed.

    The international community should resolutely protest against Russia's unjust invasion. They must indicate their unity to protect the Ukrainian people's safety.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin says his aim is to protect parts of Ukraine under control by pro-Russian armed forces, and he has stated that his plans for military action "do not include the occupation of Ukraine." It appears he intends to completely seize the Donbas region already effectively under control by pro-Russian parties.

    Websites relating to the Ukrainian government and parliament have also gone offline. It is highly likely that a large-scale cyber attack took place simultaneously with the invasion.

    Russia maintains that its military operations are based on requests from pro-Russian regions. There are fears they will station Russian troops in the area, and that a new invasion will begin by them.

    U.S. President Joe Biden criticized the invasion, stating, "President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering. Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring ... "

    The international community must present a strong, principled stance against Russia's military actions.

    In response to Russia's decision to approve the independence of pro-Russian areas, the U.S., Europe and Japan have launched economic sanctions against Russian banks, energy companies and other targets.

    Putin did not waver at the sanctions, and proceeded with a full attack. Harsher sanctions will be needed to respond to his actions.

    The G-7 nations are considering wide-ranging sanctions. It must be kept in mind that Russia could retaliate by putting controls on exports of natural gas and other resources.

    Energy prices are soaring with the invasion taking place. To ensure stable supplies, the G-7 must work quickly to cooperate with oil-producing nations and others to arrange a response plan.

    The depth of relations with Russia varies by country, but if a unified stance is not taken, then Putin's actions cannot be changed.

    What the international community should recognize is that this is a threat shared by the world. If brazen, violent actions by a major power cannot be contained, what does it mean for the world?

    This is not just a problem for Ukraine. Putin is also challenging the European order, built peacefully in the wake of the Cold War.

    Russia had sought for NATO to return its sphere of influence back to its 1997 form, before eastward expansion, and maintained it would respond militarily if the U.S. and Europe refused.

    If the U.S. and Europe cannot properly resolve the Ukraine issue, it invites expansion by Russia. Fears that it may move to further widen its sphere of influence cannot be discounted.

    Eastern European countries and the three Baltic states in NATO are increasingly concerned by theories of threats from Russia. Greater improvements in their defensive structures are sought.

    International order dependent on laws and rules is also facing a crisis. If a trend of expanding influence through force spreads, democracy will be weakened.

    The order led by the United States after the Cold War is crumbling, and the world appears to be losing its measures to maintain peace and order, and heading for an age of instability.

    We want to ask the people of Russia about this invasion, too. President Putin sees Russia as a nation that has been torn down by the U.S. and Europe, and he maintains that his actions are part of unifying a historic Russia.

    But the former Soviet member states maintain that they have their own influence as sovereign nations, and using force to make them yield is nothing more than self-justified hegemonism.

    Russia has a long history, and anyone would recognize it has fostered a grand culture. It is blessed with natural resources, and is a nation capable of making contributions to the world.

    Despite this, if as a result of Putin's violent actions there are harsh sanctions made against Russia's major industries, the country's people will pay the price.

    This is the time when a resolution from the international community is sought. The future of international order depends on the response to the Ukraine crisis.

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