SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah legislators are speaking out against the Russia-Ukraine crisis amid Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military announcement.

As Russian troops launched attacks on Ukrainian citizens on Thursday, Putin has threatened any countries thinking of intervening, saying the act will lead to “consequences you have never seen.”

Putin justified the attacks saying it was a necessary measure to protect civilians in eastern Ukraine which officials say is “a false claim the U.S. had predicted he would make as a pretext for an invasion.”

Senator Mitt Romney denounced the invasion on Wednesday saying:

“Putin’s Ukraine invasion is the first time in 80 years that a great power has moved to conquer a sovereign nation. It is without justification, without provocation and without honor.

Putin’s impunity predictably follows our tepid response to his previous horrors in Georgia and Crimea, our naive efforts at a one-sided ‘reset,’ and the shortsightedness of ‘America First.’ The ‘80s called’ and we didn’t answer.

The peril of again looking away from Putin’s tyranny falls not just on the people of the nations he has violated, it falls on America as well. History shows that a tyrant’s appetite for conquest is never satiated.

America and our allies must answer the call to protect freedom by subjecting Putin and Russia to the harshest economic penalties, by expelling them from global institutions, and by committing ourselves to the expansion and modernization of our national defense.”

Gov. Spencer Cox Tweeted his response to the crisis saying:

“There is evil in this world. Tonight we pray for the safety of those in Ukraine.”

He paired that post with an image reading, “I stand with Ukraine.”

Representative Chris Stewart Tweeted his opposition:

“The world is now witnessing the true evil that is Vladimir Putin. And as we witness this evil, the U.S. and our allies must stand resolute with the Ukrainian people and resolve to provide them with support to defend against this unprovoked, unforgivable attack.

The U.S. and allies should impose the strongest possible sanctions and export controls to cripple Russia’s ability to make war. We should also be sending arms and communication equipment to support a Ukrainian insurgency.

Putin’s barbarity must be punished swiftly and severely.”

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill responded:

“In a dark day for Democracy Putin gaslights the world. Solidarity and strength to the people of Ukraine as Putin announces military operations and blasts are being heard in several cities. This is the face of authoritarianism and a sad day for the world and democracy.

In a separate Tweet he said, “Can you guess which fanboy crushed on Putin calling his invasion of Ukraine as “genius”, “smart” and “savvy”? Go on, guess. I bet you’re right! Authoritarians in love. Orange is the new Red.”

Congressman John Curtis shared this message from Brussels, Belgium on the war in Ukraine:

“As the worst of our fears unfold, all people across the globe must unite to reject the assault on our friends in Ukraine,” said Rep. Curtis. “The US and partner countries must hold nothing back as we escalate financial pressure and sanctions on Russia. All freedom-loving nations should support Ukraine in their effort to combat this violation of international law, including sharing equipment to support their self-defense. We must act swiftly and firmly to make clear that acts like this will not be tolerated. I ask the world to join with me in support of our allies and in prayer that we will have strength in the face of pure evil.”

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson’s statement:

“On this somber morning, my heart is breaking and my thoughts are with the people of Ukraine. This premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified act of war must unite us in compassion, as together we stand against tyranny.”