MOSCOW, WASHINGTON, KIEV, LONDON, PARIS, OTTAWA, BERLIN—As the ongoing conflict intensified significantly early Thursday when Russia launched military strikes in Ukraine, leaders from around the world vowed that regular people just trying to live their lives would bear the consequences of whatever comes next. “If [Russian President Vladimir] Putin uses any additional force in Ukraine, it is my pledge that random Russians, Ukrainians, and people in other participating countries with day jobs, families, and dreams that have nothing to do with national powers seeking political and economic dominance will bear the brunt of the suffering that is sure it come,” said U.S. President Joe Biden in a statement, using rhetoric similar to a statement issued earlier by Putin that he would not rest until he made the lives of Ukrainian people just trying to go to school or work, as well as everyday Russians who had no desire whatsoever for their country to provoke violence, significantly worse. “We want anyone listening to remember that no matter what form this conflict takes, whether that’s on-the-ground fighting, air bombardments, random explosions in populated areas, or crippling sanctions, we will bring those elderly people, the poor, and the politically disenfranchised to their knees. Our allies are working around the clock to ensure that the average Ukrainian bears the full repercussions of the decisions made in power battles by small groups of each nation’s leaders. In times of conflict and war, we will never stand idly by and let mothers, teachers, children, and every person just trying to get by go unpunished.” At press time, leaders around the globe had announced plans to increase their military spending in order to take crucial resources out of their own people’s hands.
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