- Dozens of Ukrainian soldiers were killed, as the government vowed to "fully defend". The Secretary-General of NATO condemned the "reckless and unprovoked attack" by Russia.
Live News: Russia Attack Ukraine From Land, Air, and Sea.
Here’s how the Russian attacks is unfolding.
Early Thursday, explosions were reported across the country as Russian President Vladimir V. Putin announced on television that he had decided to “conduct a special military operation” in Ukraine.
Explosions were heard in the capital Kiev; the second-largest city in Kharkiv; and in Kramatorsk, in the region of Donetsk, one of two eastern Ukrainian territories claimed by Russia-backed separatists since 2014.
Ukraine’s interior ministry said Russian troops had landed in the southern port city of Odessa and were crossing from Russia into Kharkiv. Footage captured by security cameras showed Russian military vehicles crossing from Crimea into Ukraine, the peninsula that Russia seized in 2014.
Rocket strikes targeted Ukrainian fighter jets parked at an airport outside Kiev, and Ukraine closed its airspace to commercial flights, citing a “potential threat to civil aviation”.
Oleksiy Erestovich, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said more than 40 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and dozens more wounded in fighting on Thursday morning.
Residents hurried to take shelter in bus and metro stations as air raid sirens sounded in the western city of Lviv and other urban areas. In Kiev, people packed their cars and waited in long lines to fill up on gas on their way out of town. In eastern Ukraine, ATMs And early signs of panic appeared on the streets in the form of lines at gas stations.
With attacks across the country, it quickly became clear that Russia’s campaign, whatever Mr. Within an hour, Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said attacks had been launched in 10 regions of Ukraine, mainly in the east and south, and that reports of new shelling were “continuously coming.”
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dimitro Kuleba called it a “full-scale invasion of Ukraine” and said his country would defend itself, while calling on the world to “stop Putin”.
Russia’s defense ministry said it was using “high-precision weapons” to disarm military infrastructure, air defense facilities, military airfields and Ukrainian military aircraft, Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency said. told. But the ministry said it was not attacking cities, and promised that “the civilian population is not at risk.”
Ukrainian officials said the attacking naval forces were coming to several points, including Kharkiv and the southern city of Kherson. Ukraine’s interior ministry said three emergency workers were wounded in shelling on a command post in Nizhin in the north and six people were trapped under rubble during an attack on the city’s airport.
The ministry said military depots, warehouses, and the National Guard were affected by artillery blasts.
As it dawned in Kiev, Mr. Zelensky of Ukraine said he had declared martial law. The country’s defense minister told citizens that the military was “facing enemy forces” and “doing everything possible to protect you.”
But the army was under siege. In the past, Russia-backed separatists – their ranks bolstered by the arrival of hundreds of Russian mercenaries in recent days, according to European officials – said they were attacking Ukrainian troops along the entire 250-mile front line Which has divided the rebels and the Ukrainians. army since 2014
Seeking to capture entire regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, which Mr Putin recognized as independent on Monday, the rebels were “using all the weapons at their disposal,” Russian news media reported. Ukrainian officials said the attacks included artillery strikes.
Ukraine’s State Border Service said Russian troops stationed in Belarus, north of Ukraine, launched the attack with the support of Belarusian forces. Russia this month deployed 30,000 troops to Belarus for exercises that the United States warned could provide cover for an attack against Kiev, which was rapidly located 140 miles from the main border crossing. Is. President of Belarus Aleksandr G. Lukashenko denied that his forces were involved.
As of midday in Kiev, Russia’s Defense Ministry said it had disabled all air defenses and airports in Ukraine. Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said Russian forces had captured two villages in the Luhansk region.
A senior Ukrainian military official said on condition of anonymity to release the information outside official channels, saying Ukrainian forces killed six Russian fighters and a helicopter in a fight to maintain control of major cities. Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksey Reznikov called on all Ukrainian citizens to join the fight and enlist with regional defense units.
“Ukraine is proceeding in full defense mode,” he said.