International Outcry as Russia launches “Full-Scale Invasion” in Ukraine
Russia has launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine by land, air and sea, the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War II and confirmation of the worst fears of the West.
The attacks began on Thursday after Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address that he had approved a “special military operation”.
The move came after Moscow earlier recognised rebel-held territories in Luhansk and Donetsk and said they had asked for its “help”.
Russian missiles rained down on Ukrainian cities. Ukraine reported columns of troops pouring across its borders into the eastern Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Luhansk regions, and landing by sea at the cities of Odesa and Mariupol in the south.
Russian troops attacked Ukraine from Belarus as well as Russia with Belarusian support, and an attack was also being launched from annexed Crimea, Ukraine’s border guard service said.
Explosions could be heard before dawn in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. Gunfire rattled out near the main airport and sirens blared across the city.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said martial law had been declared and he appealed to world leaders to impose all possible sanctions on Russia, including on Putin, who he said wanted to destroy the Ukrainian state.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter that Putin had “launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine”.
“Peaceful Ukrainian cities are under strikes. This is a war of aggression. Ukraine will defend itself and will win. The world can and must stop Putin. The time to act is now,” he said.