Russia Invades Ukraine Live Updates: Photos, Videos and Reactions

Early on Thursday, just as Russian President Putin announced on television that he had decided to “conduct a special military operation” in Ukraine, explosions were reported across the country.

Explosions were heard in the capital Kyiv; in Kharkiv, the second largest city; and in Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region, one of two territories in eastern Ukraine claimed by Russian-backed separatists since 2014.

Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said that Russian troops had landed in the southern port city of Odessa and were entering Kharkiv from Russia. Security camera footage shows Russian military vehicles from Crimea entering Ukraine, a peninsula that Russia seized in 2014.

The missile strikes targeted Ukrainian warplanes parked at an airport outside Kyiv, and Ukraine has closed its airspace to commercial flights, citing “potential danger” hidden for military aviation.”

As air raid sirens sounded in Kyiv, the western city of Lviv and other urban areas, people flocked to take shelter in bus and metro stations. In Kyiv, people wait in long lines for gas on their way out of the city. In eastern Ukraine, early signs of panic appeared on the streets as lines formed at ATMs and gas stations.

With attacks across the country, it quickly became clear that the Russian campaign, regardless of Mr. Putin’s meaning “special military operation”, was aimed at more than just rebel territories in the east. . Within an hour, Ukraine’s emergency services said attacks were launched in 10 regions of Ukraine, mainly in the east and south, and reports of new shelling ” happens continuously”.

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, called it “a full-blown invasion of Ukraine” and said his country would defend itself, while calling on the world to “stop Putin”.

Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti reported that the Russian Defense Ministry said it was using “high-precision weapons” to neutralize military infrastructure, air defense facilities, military airfields and aircraft. aircraft of the Ukrainian army. But the ministry said it was not attacking cities and promised that “civilians are not at risk.”

Ukrainian authorities say the invading navy has come ashore at several points, including in Kharkiv and the southern city of Kherson. Three emergency workers were injured when a command post was shelled in Nizhyn, in the north, and six were trapped under rubble when the city’s airport was attacked, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry reported.

The ministry said military depots, warehouses and the National Guard were hit by artillery fire.

As dawn broke in Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said he had declared martial law. The country’s defense minister told residents that the army was “against the forces of the enemy” and “doing everything it can to protect you.”

But the army is under siege. In the east, Russian-backed separatists – whose ranks have been bolstered by the arrival of hundreds of Russian mercenaries in recent days, according to European officials – say they have attacked Ukrainian troops along the entire 250-mile front line that divided the rebels and Ukraine. force since 2014.

Seeking to capture the entire territory of Donetsk and Luhansk, which Putin recognized as independent on Monday, the rebels have “used all weapons at their disposal”, Russian media reported. Ukrainian officials said the attacks included artillery strikes.

The Ukrainian state border service reported that Russian troops stationed in Belarus, north of Ukraine, carried out an attack with the support of the Belarusian army. This month, Russia deployed 30,000 troops to Belarus for exercises that the United States warned could support an attack on Kyiv, a 140-mile drive from the main border. President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko of Belarus denied that his forces were involved.

In mid-morning in Kyiv, the Russian Defense Ministry said it had neutralized all Ukrainian air defense systems and air bases. Ukraine’s Interior Ministry says Russian forces have captured two villages in the Luhansk region.

Ukrainian forces have shot down six Russian warplanes and a helicopter in the fight to maintain control of key cities, a Ukrainian military official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Ukraine’s Defense Minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, called on all Ukrainian civilians to join the fight and enlist with units to defend the territory.

“Ukraine is moving into a full-fledged defense mode,” he said. Russia Invades Ukraine Live Updates: Photos, Videos and Reactions

Fry Electronics Team

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