NATO officials say the Russian attack on Ukraine has begun in a late-night attack after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he had “decided to conduct a special military operation.”

Per CBS News:

The attack came just two days after Putin recognized the self-declared “People’s Republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk, in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region, as independent, sending shockwaves across the globe and a new round of sanctions from the West. Putin also ordered Russian forces into the breakaway region for what he called “peacekeeping functions.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Russia’s move to recognize the two territories “a clear attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” and on Tuesday, President Biden said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had begun. Ukrainians — both the country’s military and its civilians — have been bracing for an expansion of the eight-year war in Donbas for weeks.