Putin’s tanks roll into Ukraine over Belarus border as he launches full-scale invasion

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Russia has right this moment launched all-out warfare on Ukraine. Missiles and bombs rained from the sky, tanks rolled throughout the border from Belarus, troops parachuted down on jap areas and explosions have been seen throughout the nation after Vladimir Putin personally gave the order for his forces to assault.  

‘Hundreds’ of Ukrainian troops have been killed in early clashes, Kiev mentioned, as the struggle got here to them on all fronts at a second’s discover. Cruise missiles, guided bombs and GRAD rockets took out targets from east to west – aimed toward airfields, army bases, ammo dumps, and command posts.  

Five Russian jets have been reportedly shot out of the sky over the Donbass earlier than Moscow boasted of taking out all anti-aircraft defences, giving them management of the skies. Ukrainian border guards mentioned they’d come underneath assault by heavy artillery, tanks and troops from Russia and Belarus – as Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko threw his forces into the struggle. 

Luhansk, Sumy, Kharkiv and Chernihiv within the east of Ukraine all reported coming underneath assault, however blasts have been additionally reported within the west – in Zhytomyr and Lviv, near the border with Poland. Extraordinary video footage confirmed what seemed to be a cruise missile slamming into Ivano-Frankivsk airport, additionally within the west.

Meanwhile pro-Russian insurgent forces pushed out from the occupied Donbass area, capturing two villages and claiming to have shot two Ukrainian jets out of the skies. The port metropolis of Odessa, the place Ukraine’s important naval base is situated, additionally got here underneath assault – although experiences of an amphibious assault 

It got here after Vladimir Putin gave a unprecedented early-morning deal with to the Russian nation – delivered throughout a UN meeting aimed toward avoiding warfare – during which he declared a ‘particular army operation’ to ‘de-militarise’ and ‘de-Nazify’ Ukraine in what amounted to a outright declaration of warfare.

The Russian strongman additionally issued a chilling warning to any nation pondering of coming to Ukraine’s support, vowing ‘penalties higher than any you will have confronted in historical past’.

Ukrainian President Zelensky then adopted together with his personal deal with – delivered from residence – during which he declared martial regulation and vowed to withstand the Russian assault, come what could. ‘Don’t panic. We are sturdy. We are prepared for all the pieces. We will defeat everybody. Because we’re Ukraine,’ he mentioned.

But as Russian bombs fell, folks’s nerve broke. Images from Kiev within the early hours confirmed highways out of the town gridlocked as folks tried to flee – however with the entire nation underneath simultaneous assault, there was little security to be discovered. Others reported sheltering in subways and basements as air-raid sirens wailed. 

The invasion marks probably the most concerted try to up-end world order for the reason that finish of the Cold War, and dangers sparking the bloodies battle in Europe for the reason that finish of the Second World War.

Western leaders lined as much as condemn Russia’s actions within the early hours, with safety councils convened the world over to mount a response. Heavy sanctions are anticipated to observe, together with extra shipments of army tools – offered they are often introduced into the nation.

But NATO and the US have made it clear that no troops will likely be despatched, leaving Ukraine’s army – far the inferior of Russia – to carry off the assault alone. Few anticipate it to emerge victorious. 

An enormous explosion is seen at Vinnytsia army base, in central Ukraine, as the nation comes underneath all-out assault by Russia

An explosion lights up the night time sky over Kiev within the early hours of Thursday, as Russia launched an all-out assault on Ukraine from north, south and east with bombs, cruise missiles and rockets raining from the skies

The assault has come to Ukraine on all fronts, with bombs and missiles placing targets throughout the nation, floor forces rolling in from Belarus, Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk, and paratroopers dropping on Kharkiv

An enormous explosion lights up the night time sky in Sumy, jap Ukraine, after a Russian airstrike hit what seems to be an ammo dump, whereas smoke and flames are additionally seen rising over Kherson, within the south close to Crimea

A wounded girl is seen as airstrike damages an condominium advanced outdoors of Kharkiv, Ukraine

Smoke rises over Chuhuiv army airfield in jap Ukraine after a Russian airstrike aimed toward taking out the air pressure

Tanks roll throughout the Belarus-Ukraine border as Russian and Belarusian forces attacked Ukraine’s border guards 

An explosion is seen within the early hours of Thursday within the Ukrainian metropolis of Kharkiv

Unconfirmed experiences mentioned that Russian forces had destroyed or rendered unusable the Ukrainian navy, and brought management of Boryspil Airport in Kiev.

Access to the Black Sea and Azov Sea was lower off. 

President Joe Biden will deal with the nation at midday on Thursday, and on Wednesday night time he condemned Russia’s ‘unprovoked and unjustified assault.’ He was talking to Ukraine’s president.

Biden mentioned in an announcement: ‘President Putin has chosen a premeditated warfare that can deliver a catastrophic lack of life and human struggling.

‘Russia alone is answerable for the loss of life and destruction this assault will deliver, and the United States and its Allies and companions will reply in a united and decisive manner. The world will maintain Russia accountable.’

Biden mentioned he will likely be monitoring the state of affairs from Washington, DC, and can proceed to get common updates from his nationwide safety crew. 

Putin justified all of it in a televised deal with, asserting that the assault was wanted to guard civilians in jap Ukraine – a false declare the U.S. had predicted he would make as a pretext for an invasion.

He accused the U.S. and its allies of ignoring Russia’s calls for to stop Ukraine from becoming a member of NATO and for safety ensures. He additionally claimed that Russia doesn’t intend to occupy Ukraine however will transfer to ‘demilitarize’ it and convey those that dedicated crimes to justice.

Biden in a written assertion condemned the ‘unprovoked and unjustified assault,’ and he promised that the U.S. and its allies would ‘maintain Russia accountable.’ The president mentioned he deliberate to talk to Americans on Thursday after a meeting of the Group of Seven leaders. More sanctions in opposition to Russia have been anticipated to be introduced Thursday.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba described the assault as a ‘full-scale invasion’ and mentioned Ukraine will ‘defend itself and can win. The world can and should cease Putin. The time to behave is now.’

In the capital, Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko suggested residents to remain residence except they’re concerned in essential work and urged them to arrange go-bags with requirements and paperwork if they should evacuate. An Associated Press photographer in Mariupol reported listening to explosions and seeing dozens of individuals with suitcases heading for his or her automobiles to depart the town.

‘We are dealing with a warfare and horror. What may very well be worse?’ 64-year-old Liudmila Gireyeva mentioned in Kyiv. She deliberate to go to the western metropolis of Lviv after which to attempt to transfer to Poland to hitch her daughter. Putin ‘will likely be damned by historical past, and Ukrainians are damning him.’

The Russian claims about knocking out Ukrainian air defenses and Ukrainian claims to have shot down a number of Russian plane couldn’t instantly be verified. The Ukrainian air protection system and air pressure date again to the Soviet period and are dwarfed by Russia’s huge air energy and its stock of precision weapons.

The Russian Defense Ministry mentioned it was not concentrating on cities, however utilizing precision weapons and claimed that ‘there isn’t any menace to civilian inhabitants.’

Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s inside minister, mentioned on Facebook that the Russian army had launched missile strikes on Ukrainian army command services, air bases and army depots in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Dnipro. 

Vladimir Putin is pictured within the early hours of Thursday morning declaring warfare on Ukraine, in what he termed a ‘particular army operation’

Chuhuiv army airfield in Kharkiv outskirts burns

Video that is being shared on social media displaying missile strike in Myrhorod in Poltava area

Ukrainian tanks are seen rolling into the port metropolis of Mariupol, in jap Ukraine, after Putin declared warfare 

Military autos are seen on a avenue on the outskirts of the separatist-controlled metropolis of Donetsk, Ukraine

Russian army tanks and armored autos advance in Donetsk, Ukraine

Biden introduced he will be part of G7 counterparts on Thursday morning, and can deal with the nation in a while Thursday to ‘announce the additional penalties the United States and its Allies and companions will impose on Russia.’

‘We may even coordinate with our NATO Allies to make sure a robust, united response that deters any aggression in opposition to the Alliance. Tonight, Jill and I are praying for the courageous and proud folks of Ukraine,’ the assertion added. 

Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, tweeted early on Thursday: ‘I’m appalled by the horrific occasions in Ukraine and I’ve spoken to President Zelenskyy to debate subsequent steps. President Putin has chosen a path of bloodshed and destruction by launching this unprovoked assault on Ukraine. 

‘The UK and our allies will reply decisively.’

Putin in his speech on Thursday instructed different international locations to not get entangled.

‘To anybody who would think about interfering from the surface – in the event you do, you’ll face penalties higher than any you will have confronted in historical past,’ he mentioned within the tv broadcast round 6am Moscow time. 

The penalties of the battle and ensuing sanctions on Russia might reverberate all through the world, upending geopolitical dynamics in Europe as nicely as affecting vitality provides in Europe and jolting international monetary markets.

Asian stock markets plunged and oil costs surged as the assault started. Earlier, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index fell 1.8% to an eight-month low after the Kremlin mentioned rebels in jap Ukraine requested for army help.

Anticipating worldwide condemnation and countermeasures, Putin issued a stark warning to different international locations to not meddle, saying, ‘whoever tries to impede us, not to mention create threats for our nation and its folks, should know that the Russian response will likely be instant and result in the implications you will have by no means seen in historical past.’

Putin urged Ukrainian servicemen to ‘instantly put down arms and go residence.’

In a stark reminder of Russia’s nuclear energy, Putin warned that ‘nobody ought to have any doubts {that a} direct assault on our nation will result in the destruction and horrible penalties for any potential aggressor.’ He emphasised that Russia is ‘some of the potent nuclear powers and likewise has a sure edge in a spread of state-of-the-art weapons.’

Though the U.S. on Tuesday introduced the repositioning of forces across the Baltics, Biden has mentioned he is not going to ship in troops to struggle Russia.

Putin introduced the army operation after the Kremlin mentioned rebels in jap Ukraine requested Russia for army help to assist fend off Ukrainian ‘aggression,’ an announcement that the White House mentioned was a ‘false flag’ operation by Moscow to supply up a pretext for an invasion.

Putin’s announcement got here simply hours after the Ukrainian president rejected Moscow’s claims that his nation poses a menace to Russia and made a passionate, last-minute plea for peace.

‘The folks of Ukraine and the federal government of Ukraine need peace,’ Zelenskyy mentioned in an emotional in a single day deal with, talking in Russian in a direct enchantment to Russian residents. ‘But if we come underneath assault, if we face an try to remove our nation, our freedom, our lives and lives of our youngsters, we’ll defend ourselves. When you assault us, you will notice our faces, not our backs.’ 

Debris and rubble are seen on the web site the place a missile landed on the street in Kiev

Police officers examine the stays of a missile that landed on the street in Kiev

CNN’s correspondent reporting reside as Kiev attacked 

CNN’s correspondent in Kiev was reside on air on Thursday morning as Russia’s assault was launched.

‘I simply heard a giant bang proper right here behind me. I’ve by no means heard something prefer it,’ mentioned Matthew Chance, CNN’s senior worldwide correspondent.

Chance rapidly placed on his flak jacket and helmet whereas he continued to report from a balcony within the Ukrainian capital.

‘There are huge explosions going down. I can not see them or clarify what they’re,’ he mentioned.

‘But I’ll inform you the united stateshas warned the Ukrainian authorities there may very well be air strikes and floor assaults as nicely across the nation, together with the capital.

‘I do not know if that is what’s occurring now however it’s a outstanding coincidence that the explosions come simply minutes after Putin gave his speech,’ Chance defined.

‘This is the primary time we have heard something. It has been completely silent. This is the primary time. It must be greater than only a coincidence.

‘I feel it is protected the place I’m. I’ve a flak jacket,’ Chance remarked earlier than ducking right down to placed on his protecting gear. 

Zelenskyy mentioned he requested to rearrange a name with Putin late Wednesday, however the Kremlin didn’t reply.

In an obvious reference to Putin’s transfer to authorize the deployment of the Russian army to ‘preserve peace’ in jap Ukraine, Zelensky warned that ‘this step might mark the beginning of a giant warfare on the European continent.’

‘Any provocation, any spark might set off a blaze that can destroy all the pieces,’ he mentioned.

He challenged the Russian propaganda claims, saying that ‘you might be instructed that this blaze will deliver freedom to the folks of Ukraine, however the Ukrainian persons are free.’

At an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council known as by Ukraine due to the upcoming menace of a Russian invasion, members nonetheless unaware of Putin’s announcement appealed to him to cease an assault. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened the meeting, simply earlier than the announcement, telling Putin: ‘Stop your troops from attacking Ukraine. Give peace an opportunity. Too many individuals have already died.’

NATO Secretary-General Jen Stoltenberg issued an announcement condemning ‘Russia’s reckless and unprovoked assault on Ukraine, which places in danger numerous civilian lives. Once once more, regardless of our repeated warnings and tireless efforts to have interaction in diplomacy, Russia has chosen the trail of aggression in opposition to a sovereign and unbiased nation.’

European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promised to carry the Kremlin accountable.

‘In these darkish hours, our ideas are with Ukraine and the harmless girls, males and kids as they face this unprovoked assault and worry for his or her lives,’ they mentioned on Twitter.

Even earlier than Putin’s announcement, dozens of countries imposed sanctions on Russia, additional squeezing Russian oligarchs and banks out of worldwide markets.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has shrugged off the sanctions, saying that ‘Russia has confirmed that, with all the prices of the sanctions, it is ready to decrease the injury.’

The menace of warfare has already shredded Ukraine’s financial system and raised the specter of huge casualties, vitality shortages throughout Europe and international financial chaos.

Across Ukraine, cruise and ballistic missiles have been destroying army infrastructure and strategically essential services, in line with unofficial Russian sources.

Mariupol, on the Black Sea 50 miles from the Russian border, seemed to be underneath fierce assault. Taking this strategic location would give the Donbas republics entry to the ocean.

The second Ukraine and the remainder of Europe had dreaded for months lastly got here shortly after 4.35am native time when large explosions have been heard in Kiev and different cities throughout the nation.

Terrified residents rushed to bomb shelters, although no air raid warnings sounded within the capital – solely the frequent muffled crump of missile or air strikes breaking by the pre-dawn stillness.

In Kiev, folks have been sheltering in basements as the sounds of distant explosions grew to become a relentless backdrop.

Within an hour Russians particular pressure and airborne troops have been reported to be on the bottom at Kiev’s Boryspil Airport, amid fierce combating. 

A girl within the Ukrainian capital mentioned: ‘I used to be woken by a good friend.

‘I’m within the centre of Kiev.

‘I hear the sound of distant explosions and ambulance sirens.’

At 7.05am the primary air raid sirens have been heard in central Kiev.  

A CNN reporter in Kiev reported listening to blasts reside on air within the early hours of Thursday morning.

‘I simply heard a giant bang proper right here behind me. I’ve by no means heard something prefer it,’ mentioned Matthew Chance, senior worldwide correspondent for the community. 

Missile strike in Ivano Frankivsk, in Ukraine’s west, as smoke and flames rise into the sky

Ukraine: port of Ochakiv (Mykolaiv area) is on hearth

Fire is seen popping out of a army set up close to the airport in Mariupol, southern Ukraine

Cars jam the freeway heading out of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, after it was slammed by missiles within the early hours

Cars block the freeway out of Kiev following pre-offensive missile strikes of the Russian armed forces and Belarus

Donald Trump claims that the invasion was sparked by ‘election fraud’ in 2020 

Donald Trump, talking to Fox’s Laura Ingraham on Wednesday night time as the Kremlin’s ‘particular army operation’ started, claimed that the so-called ‘Russia hoax’ ruined his good relationships with each Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi, arguing he stored the 2 aside. 

Ingraham requested Trump concerning the persevering with closeness between Putin and Xi. 

‘Well, I had an excellent relationship with each,’ he mentioned. 

‘It was damage by the Russia hoax. You see what occurred with Durham and people experiences and different experiences together with Mueller. 

‘It was only a made up hoax and it actually damage our nation however regardless of the hoax, I had an excellent relationship and with President Xi of China, apart from the truth that I used to be tariff-ing and taxing the hell out of him.

‘As a younger man rising up, I all the time heard that the worst factor that might occur is drive these two international locations collectively. 

‘It actually began with Obama and vitality. He drove them collectively as a result of one wanted the vitality and the opposite wanted the money,’ Trump added. 

‘He drove them collectively and Biden – I stored them aside – and Biden now it is an excellent love fest and that is a really dangerous factor and I feel you’ll be able to in all probability add Iran into it too.’ 

Earlier within the interview, during which Trump spoke over the telephone with Ingraham, Trump bemoaned that this was occurring in any respect. 

‘This ought to have by no means occurred. This wouldn’t have occurred throughout my administration. 

‘In reality, some persons are saying why did not this happen over the final 4 years?’

Chance mentioned that he heard between seven and eight explosions and rapidly placed on his flak jacket and headgear whereas he continued to report from a balcony within the Ukrainian capital.  

‘There are huge explosions going down. 

‘I can not see them or clarify what they’re. 

‘But I’ll inform you the united stateshas warned the Ukrainian authorities there may very well be air strikes and floor assaults as nicely across the nation, together with the capital. 

‘I do not know if that is what’s occurring now however it’s a outstanding coincidence that the explosions come simply minutes after Putin gave his speech,’ Chance defined. 

‘This is the primary time we have heard something. It has been completely silent. 

‘This is the primary time. It must be greater than only a coincidence. 

‘I feel it is protected the place I’m. I’ve a flak jacket,’ Chance remarked, earlier than ducking right down to placed on his protecting gear.

He steered that the blasts he heard within the Ukrainian capital have been nonetheless far away from the middle.

‘It was so quiet in Ukraine tonight up till these explosions,’ Chance defined. 

The blasts got here inside minutes of Putin saying Russia would conduct a army operation in jap Ukraine.

Explosions is also heard from Ukraine within the Russian metropolis of Belgorod. 

Putin instructed Russians: ‘I’ve determined to conduct a particular army operation. 

Russia can not exist with a relentless menace emanating from the territory of Ukraine.

‘You and I’ve been left with no alternative to guard our folks apart from the one we use right this moment.’

It comes after explosions have been additionally heard close to the Ukrainian port metropolis of Mariupol, as fears mounted that shelling is underway.

Residents within the metropolis, which is situated in south jap Ukraine, have been woken up at 3.30am by blasts 30 miles from the Russian border.

Video footage appeared to point out clouds of smoke rising up into the night time sky close to Mariupol, however it was unconfirmed whether or not it was as a results of shelling.

Putin earlier this week mentioned he wished to take the foremost Azov Sea Port of Mariupol, which handles 50 % Ukraine’s metal and mineral exports. 

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg mentioned Russia’s actions have been a ‘grave breach of worldwide regulation’ and that allies would meet to deal with the ‘renewed aggression’.

He mentioned on Twitter: ‘I strongly condemn #Russia’s reckless assault on #Ukraine, which places in danger numerous civilian lives. 

‘This is a grave breach of worldwide regulation & a severe menace to Euro-Atlantic safety. #NATO Allies will meet to deal with Russia’s renewed aggression.’

The British overseas secretary Liz Truss tweeted her condemnation of the assault simply after 4am native time.

‘I strongly condemn the appalling, unprovoked assault President Putin has launched on the folks of Ukraine,’ she mentioned. 

Footage reveals smoke supposedly rising on the skyline after the blasts have been heard close to Mariupol, jap Ukraine

‘We stand with Ukraine and we’ll work with our worldwide companions to answer this horrible act of aggression.’

The explosions come simply hours after the U.S. warned the Ukrainian authorities that Putin’s troops are ‘able to go now’ with an invasion of Ukraine, with 80 % of Russian troopers now assembled across the nation in assault positions.

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken issued an extra stark warning and mentioned, hours earlier than the invasion, that he believed Russia would invade earlier than the night time is over.  

Russia on Wednesday afternoon issued a discover to airmen (NOTAM) which closed the airspace alongside its northeastern border with Ukraine to all civilian air visitors. 

Ukraine later mentioned early on Thursday it had restricted civilian flights in its airspace resulting from ‘potential hazard’.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed that the Ukrainian folks will ‘struggle again’ if Putin threatens their freedom and lives by launching a full-scale invasion.

President Zelenskyy made an emotional deal with to his nation after Moscow-backed insurgent leaders in jap Ukraine requested Putin for army help in warding off Ukrainian ‘aggression’.  

In an emotional televised deal with on Wednesday night time, President Zelenskyy mentioned: ‘The folks of Ukraine and the federal government of Ukraine need peace.  

‘But if we come underneath assault, if we face an try to remove our nation, our freedom, our lives and lives of our youngsters, we’ll defend ourselves. 

‘When you assault us, you will notice our faces, not our backs.’ 

The Ukrainian president mentioned he had tried to name Putin this night, however there was ‘no answer, solely silence’, including that Moscow now has round 200,000 troopers by Ukraine’s borders.  

The United Nations Security Council rapidly scheduled an emergency meeting Wednesday night time – the second in three days – at Ukraine’s request. 

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba known as the separatists’ request ‘an extra escalation of the safety state of affairs.’ 

Earlier on Wednesday, Ukraine was positioned on a warfare footing: A state of emergency was declared and authorized by parliament, 200,000 army reservists known as up, border zones have been restricted and three million Ukrainians instructed to depart Russia, with Kiev acknowledging for the primary time that an assault might now happen wherever, at any time. 

Biden on Wednesday warned President Zelenskyy of an ‘imminent’ assault by Putin’s troops within the subsequent 48 hours – , simply hours after Ukraine was hit by a ‘huge’ cyberattack concentrating on its authorities and banks. 

But Blinken lower that timeframe of a Russian invasion drastically and mentioned on Wednesday night time he anticipated Russia to invade Ukraine earlier than the night time was over.  

U.S. intelligence chiefs knew Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest metropolis, was at specific danger of being focused in a Russian invasion as it’s near the Ukrainian-Russian border. 

On Wednesday night time, an enormous army convoy of greater than 100 vans with troopers have been heading within the path of the town. 

Boris Johnson is briefed by the Chief of the Defence Staff Admiral Sir Tony Radakin on the Ministry of Defence on the state of affairs in Ukraine on Tuesday