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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks tumbled worldwide on Thursday after Russia’s attack of Ukraine sent fear coursing through markets and upped the pressure on the high inflation already squeezing the global economy.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 sank 1.6% in early trading to continue its dismal start of the year. The benchmark is index is now down 13.5% from its record set early this year. Stocks in Europe sank even more after officials called Russia’s moves a “brutal act of war,” with the German DAX down nearly 5%.

Beyond its human toll, the conflict looks set to send prices spiraling even higher at gasoline pumps and grocery stores around the world. Russia and Ukraine are major producers not only of energy products but also grains and various other commodities. War could upend global supplies, as could sanctions brought by the United States and other allies.

On Wall Street, worries about higher interest rates have delivered the heaviest hits on big technology stocks, a turnaround after those companies soared to lead Wall Street out of its coronavirus-caused plummet in 2020.

The Nasdaq composite, which is full of big tech stocks, sank 1.5% and could close more than 20% below its record set on Nov. 19, 2021. If it does, that’s something Wall Street calls a “bear market,” something that hasn’t happened for the Nasdaq since the coronavirus first crashed the global economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 647 points, or 2%, to 32,490.

Moscow’s stock exchange briefly suspended trading on all its markets on Thursday morning. After trading resumed, the ruble-denominated MOEX stock index tumbled more than 20% and the dollar-denominated RTS index plunged by more than a third.

Some analysts expect the conflict to push investors out of many tech stocks, with the exception of the cybersecurity sector.

“Growing concern that massive cyber warfare could be on the near-term horizon which would certainly catalyze an increase in spending around preventing sophisticated Russian-based cyber attacks,” analysts with Wedbush Securities wrote in a note to clients.

Putin said Russia had to protect civilians in eastern Ukraine, a claim Washington had predicted he would make to justify an invasion.

President Joe Biden denounced the attack as “unprovoked and unjustified” and said Moscow would be held accountable, which many took to mean Washington and its allies would impose additional sanctions. Putin accused them of ignoring Russia’s demand to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO and to offer Moscow security guarantees.

Washington, Britain, Japan and the EU earlier imposed sanctions on Russian banks, officials and business leaders. Additional options include barring Russia from the global system for bank transactions.

On Thursday, several U.S. politicians from Oklahoma responded to the attack.

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine is an unprovoked naked act of aggression that is eerily reminiscent of what the world witnessed almost a century ago in the 1930s. The world was slow to unite to confront aggression in that era. It must not make the same mistake today.

Vladimir Putin has chosen to launch the largest military operation in Europe since World War II. He has done so against a country that has neither attacked nor threatened him or the Russian state. Putin has chosen to violate a peace in Europe that has lasted more than 75 years. If he succeeds in dismantling Ukraine, he and others of his ilk all over the world will be tempted and emboldened to repeat his aggression against their innocent and weaker neighbors.

The Ukrainians have chosen to resist Russian aggression against their country. They have not asked America to send troops to their defense, nor does the United States have any obligation to do so. However, Ukraine has asked for our moral support and material assistance. It is in our interest and the interests of freedom loving people all over the world to respond to that request in a positive and meaningful way.

America should do all we can to assist Ukraine in its hour of need. We should ask our friends and allies to do the same. Finally, we should do everything in our power to punish Putin and his criminal and repressive regime for this egregious act of aggression against an innocent neighbor. If he succeeds today, we will face further aggression from him and his likeminded associates tomorrow.”

Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04)

“Cindy and I pray for the people of Ukraine. Today they face the unfathomable: an unprovoked attack on their families, homes, and communities—simply for who they are and what they stand for: a free people living in a free country living next door to a murderous dictator.

America and our allies must respond quickly and decisively with crippling sanctions on Putin, Russia, and anyone who seeks to aid their actions. We will absolutely impose trade restrictions and enforce sanctions on countries who continue to work with Russia.

Europe is dependent on Russian oil and natural gas. Sanctions on Russian energy are meaningless unless the world responds by producing more energy to replace Russian oil and gas. During this moment of crisis, the United States should work to dramatically ramp up energy production to strengthen our allies and to cut off the flow of money into Putin’s war machine. Every dollar paid for Russian energy is a dollar they will use to murder their Ukrainian neighbors. America must lead the world by increasing our production of energy to decrease reliance on Russian exports. Russia’s economy is heavily dependent on energy sales, we should make sure that immediately dries up.”

Sen. James Lankford (R-OK)

“My prayers are with the brave men, women, and children of Ukraine, who are suffering an unprecedented, unwarranted and unprovoked attack ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

For months, we’ve seen this coming – but Putin’s massive, shameful breach of international protocol is shocking and devastating nonetheless.

While I am continuing to monitor the situation as events unfold, I believe it is in our country’s best interest to respond strongly – by providing additional defensive aid to continue to help our Ukrainian friends defend themselves and by sending additional resources to our troops in Eastern Europe who are working alongside our NATO allies to deter this aggression from spreading further; and by imposing the most severe economic costs on Putin and his inner circle for this grave misstep. To be clear: Putin’s ambitions won’t stop with Ukraine – unless America and our allies stop Putin. 

After Putin invaded Crimea in 2014, it became clear that the Obama-Biden administration’s tepid response was ineffectual at deterring Russian aggression. Since then, I have supported the Senate Armed Services Committee-led effort to bolster Ukraine’s ability to defend itself through what is now the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. I now call upon the Biden administration and my colleagues to work together quickly to deter Putin from continuing down this path, to continue military support to Ukraine under these new dire circumstances, and to further bolster European security in the face of what will amount to the biggest threat to democracy since the Soviet Union fell.”

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R- OK)

“Russia’s premeditated invasion of Ukraine is reckless and a flagrant violation of international law, as well as Ukraine’s sovereignty. For decades, Vladimir Putin has violated the rights and freedoms of sovereign bordering neighbors, attempting to rewrite history and upend the balance of power in Europe. Now, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine lays bare for the world to witness the evil of an irresponsible and dangerous dictator- one who alone will be responsible for the death and destruction that this invasion will bring.

Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine marks a historic shift in how the world should regard and engage with Moscow and the Kremlin. The United States and our Allies across the globe must remain committed to enacting swift, strong, and painful sanctions, ensuring Putin is held accountable and Russia’s ability to make war is short-lived.

In these dark and unfathomable times, my prayers and the prayers from across the United States are with the people of Ukraine. The United States and freedom loving people from across the world stand with them.”

Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03)

“I am closely monitoring Russia’s ongoing and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Over the last 24 hours, Putin initiated a widespread assault against an innocent country. This truly heinous act jeopardizes the stability of Europe and peace across the globe. The United States must take every action, including the permanent closure of Nord Stream 2, to impose severe economic costs on Putin, his oligarchs, and the Russian economy, and ensure the Ukrainian people have the tools they need to withstand this violent attack. I am praying for the people of Ukraine and for those throughout Eastern Europe as they face threats to their homes and livelihood by a power-hungry dictator.”

Congresswoman Stephanie Bice (OK-05)