Home Politics Vladimir Putin declares war on Ukraine as Russia invades and blasts heard 

Vladimir Putin declares war on Ukraine as Russia invades and blasts heard 

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Vladimir Putin declares war on Ukraine as Russia invades and blasts heard 

Ukraine’s president has declared martial law and urged citizens not to panic with blasts heard across the country on Thursday morning

Ukraine’s president has declared martial law and urged citizens not to panic as Russia launched military strikes on the country, while the country’s foreign minister called it a “full-scale invasion”. The Russian president announced the action during a televised address early on Thursday morning, saying the move was a response to threats from Ukraine. 

Ukraine’s border guard agency said the Russian military attacked the country from neighbouring Belarus. The agency said that the Russian troops unleashed an artillery barrage as part of an attack backed by Belarus and Ukrainian border guards were firing back, adding that there was no immediate report of casualties. 

Russia’s military said it had targeted Ukrainian air bases and other military assets and had not targeted populated areas.

Explosions were heard in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv as well as Odesa and Kharkiv following Vladimir Putin’s announcement that the military operation had begun.

The Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, said that Russia has launched a “full-scale invasion of Ukraine”.

Mr. Kuleba said that Ukraine would defend itself against the Russian aggression “and will win”.

When did Russia start invading Ukraine?

Ukrainian servicemen get ready to repel an attack in Ukraine’s Lugansk region on February 24, 2022. – Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, killing dozens and forcing hundreds to flee for their lives in the pro-Western neighbour. Russian air strikes hit military facilities across the country and ground forces moved in from the north, south and east, triggering condemnation from Western leaders and warnings of massive sanctions. (Photo by Anatolii STEPANOV / AFP) (Photo by ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP via Getty Images)

The Russo-Ukrainian War is an ongoing war primarily involving Russia, Belarus, and pro-Russian forces on one side, and Ukraine on the other. Armed conflict began in February 2014 in the wake of Euromaidan, centred on the status of Crimea and parts of the Donbas, which are internationally recognised as part of Ukraine.

UK flights ordered to avoid Ukraine airspace

E981GK Armed Russian troops outside the Perevalne military base near Simferopol Crimea

Aircraft flying to or from UK airports are being ordered to avoid Ukraine airspace after the crisis in the country intensified. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he made the decision “following the horrific events overnight” as Russia launched a major military assault.

The Cabinet minister tweeted: “I’ve instructed @UK_CAA (the Civil Aviation Authority) to ensure airlines avoid Ukraine airspace to keep passengers and crew safe.

“We continue to stand with the people of Ukraine and work with our international partners to respond to this act of aggression.”

This is affecting UK flights to and from Ukraine airports, which were due to fly over the country.

Ireland brands Russian attack on Ukraine a ‘murderous act of aggression’

Ireland has branded Russia’s military assault on Ukraine a “murderous act of aggression”.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin condemned the latest action by Vladimir Putin on Thursday, as the Department of Foreign Affairs urged all remaining Irish citizens in Ukraine to seek shelter in a secure place.

It advised citizens not to move around the country in the coming hours and to follow the advice of local authorities.

The London Stock Exchange’s leading FTSE 100 index plunges more than 200 points

The London Stock Exchange’s leading FTSE 100 index plunged more than 200 points, or 2.7%, within moments of opening in reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russian Defence Ministry says Russian strikes have ‘suppressed air defence means of the Ukrainian military’

The Russian Defence Ministry said the Russian strikes have “suppressed air defence means of the Ukrainian military,” adding that the infrastructure of Ukraine’s military bases has been “incapacitated”.

It denied claims that a Russian warplane was shot down over Ukraine.

The Ukrainian military, meanwhile, reported it has shot down five Russian aircraft while fending off the attack on the country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he unleashed an attack on Ukraine in a televised address early on Thursday, drawing international condemnation.

Ukrainian brothers — former world boxing champs — ready to fight Russian troops

Both won several world heavyweight boxing championships, known for smooth footwork and fierce jabs. One never faced a knockdown in the ring. The other was undefeated for a decade. 

Now, after Hall of Fame boxing careers,Vitali Klitschko and Wladimir Klitschko are again on the world stage, united in Ukraine’s fight against Russia’s invasion. 

In the days since the assault began on their home country, both have said they plan to take up arms to defend against the Russian military as it moves closer to Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital. 

Vitali Klitschko, 50, who since his retirement from boxing in 2013 has served as mayor of Kyiv, said in an interview on ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” that he would stay and fight.“I don’t have another choice. I have to do that. I’ll be fighting,” he said. “It’s already a bloody war.”

In January, Wladimir Klitschko, 45, enlisted in Ukraine’s army reserve in Kyiv.“Now, the Russian president [Vladimir Putin] is using war rhetoric … he makes it clear that he wants to destroy the Ukrainian state and the sovereignty of its people,” Wladimir wrote on LinkedIn on Thursday. “Words are followed by missiles and tanks. Destruction and death come upon us. … We will defend ourselves with all our might and fight for freedom and democracy.”

“You’re on your own”: African students stuck in Ukraine seek refuge or escape route

When Percy Ohene-Yeboah peered down from his high-rise apartment in the city of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine on Thursday morning, the street below was clogged with traffic. People hurried along the sidewalks, wheeling suitcases behind them.

The Ghanaian engineering student went to a window on the other side and discovered why: Russian planes were flying low above the city, trying to evade missiles that rifled through the sky – a scene resembling one of his favourite video games, Call of Duty.

As reality dawned, and with nowhere to turn, the 24-year-old, packed a bag and ran to the nearest underground train station for shelter, one of the thousands of African students stranded in Ukraine during a Russian invasion, with no idea of how to escape.

“In a situation like this, you’re on your own. You’ve got to find the best way to find refuge for yourself,” he told Reuters by phone from the basement of a church where he eventually settled on Thursday night.

Author: Andrew Collins

andrewc@gmail.com

London, UK