Fighting rocks Ukraine as Russia launches major invasion

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Ukrainian officers stated greater than 40 troopers and as many as 10 civilians had been killed for the reason that Russian invasion started shortly earlier than daybreak. Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser within the President’s Workplace, stated a number of dozen troopers had additionally been injured and “so far as I do know, in the intervening time there are a number of civilian deaths — as much as 10.”

The Russian assault on Ukraine has to this point concerned “roughly greater than 100 Russian-launched missiles of varied sorts,” a senior US protection official stated Thursday.

Ukrainian Deputy Inside Minister Evgeny Yenin advised CNN that Ukrainian troops had retreated from “fierce combating” with Russian forces for management of the strategic Antonov airbase on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, however had been staging a counterattack.

Earlier Thursday, giant numbers of Russian helicopters dropped Russian troops on the airbase to safe it, he stated.

A CNN crew spoke with Russian airborne troops on the perimeter of the airbase, solely about 20 miles from the center of the capital, and heard exchanges of fireplace with Ukrainian forces.

Yenin advised CNN that Russian forces gave the impression to be encircling Kyiv and look poised to try an invasion of town. Ukrainian officers consider the Russian plan is to overthrow the Ukrainian management and set up a pro-Russian authorities.

As air raid sirens rang out throughout the capital Thursday morning, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky moved to enact martial legislation and authorities ministers accused Moscow of launching a “full scale invasion” that might be resisted.

The primary blasts had been heard at round 5 a.m. native time Thursday, prompting immediate condemnation from america and its allies, which have threatened to enact “full scale” sanctions in response to Russian navy aggression.

Russia’s invasion follows weeks of warnings from america and different Western powers that an assault in opposition to Ukraine was imminent — and weeks of denials by Moscow that it deliberate any such motion.

CNN groups on the bottom heard explosions in and close to a number of Ukrainian cities, together with Kyiv, the second largest metropolis Kharkiv, Odessa, and distant firing from Zaporizhzhiya. Photos launched by Zelensky’s workplace confirmed giant explosions to the east of Kyiv with large columns of smoke rising into the air.

In a video message on his official Fb web page, Zelensky stated Ukrainian forces had “already taken on the primary blow of the enemy and are resisting.”

“Putin started struggle in opposition to Ukraine, in opposition to the whole democratic world. He desires to destroy my nation, our nation, all the things we have been constructing, all the things we live for,” he stated.

Heavy site visitors could possibly be seen clogging roads heading west out of town as daybreak broke, whereas additional east, close to the Russian border, the mayor of Kharkiv urged residents to not depart their properties.

Western leaders had been united of their swift and powerful condemnation of Russia’s navy motion.

US President Joe Biden issued a press release saying Russia had launched “an unprovoked and unjustified assault” on the Ukrainian individuals, including that “the world will maintain Russia accountable.”

Biden is predicted to spell out a raft of sanctions later Thursday in an deal with to the nation. The measures may lower off Russia from superior expertise, announce new restrictions on giant monetary establishments and slap sanctions on further members of Putin’s interior circle.

“There isn’t a justification for any of this — that is Putin’s struggle,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz advised reporters in Berlin. “In attacking Ukraine, the Russian President Putin is blatantly infringing on worldwide legislation,” he stated, including that it’s a “horrible day for Ukraine and a really darkish day for Europe.”

Russian stocks plunged Thursday, with the nation’s principal index dropping 45% earlier than recovering some losses. The ruble briefly crashed to a report low in opposition to the US greenback.

Ukrainian official: ‘Full-fledged’ struggle has begun

Households crowded into subway stations in Kyiv as metropolis authorities issued an air raid warning and urged residents to hunt shelter underground.

Ukraine’s Overseas Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted on his official web page that “peaceable Ukrainian cities are below strike” and known as the state of affairs “a struggle of aggression.” And an adviser to the Ukrainian Inside Minister, Anton Gerashchenko, advised journalists Russia’s “invasion has begun” with “missile strikes on Kyiv.”

CNN witnessed, by means of a livestream video, troops atop a column of navy automobiles coming into Ukraine from a border crossing with Belarus.

In latest weeks, Russia has amassed a major variety of troops, automobiles and tanks in Belarus close to the border with Ukraine. The 2 nations have held joint navy workouts throughout the nations, and close to the Belarus-Ukrainian border.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak advised CNN {that a} “full-fledged large-scale struggle has begun in Europe.”

“From the north, east and south, Russian forces went on the offensive in opposition to Ukraine. Tanks, planes, diversion teams from Russia,” he stated.

The Ukrainian Inside Ministry stated one Russian Ok-52 helicopter was shot down within the Kyiv area, in addition to three different helicopters. It was unclear if the opposite three had been Russian or Ukrainian.

Earlier Thursday, the Normal Employees of the Ukrainian Armed Forces stated six Russian planes had been shot down as forces attacked Ukraine. Russian navy denied the claims, state information company TASS reported.

The missiles fired by Russia embody “short-range ballistic missiles” as the first weapon, in addition to “medium-range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, surface-to-air missiles,” and “sea-launched missiles from the Black Sea,” the US official stated Thursday.

Russia additionally deployed 75 fixed-wing heavy and medium bombers within the preliminary assault and initiated “some floor incursions” into Ukraine from Belarus, northwest of Kyiv, the official added.

To date, Russian targets in Ukraine have included “navy and air protection” targets, which means “barracks, ammunition warehouses, practically 10 airfields,” the official stated. “We wouldn’t have a great sense of complete injury, as you would possibly anticipate. We wouldn’t have a great sense of casualties, civilian and or navy,” the official added.

UK navy intelligence earlier stated more than 80 strikes had been carried out in opposition to Ukrainian targets.

Putin vows ‘rapid’ response if nations intervene

Hours earlier than the invasion started, Putin introduced a navy operation within the Donbas area of japanese Ukraine, which comprises Donetsk and Luhansk, the separatist-held areas that Moscow acknowledged as impartial on Monday — in violation of worldwide legislation.

Within the deal with, broadcast stay on Russian nationwide tv, Putin urged Ukrainian forces to put down their arms and go residence, saying all duty for doable bloodshed could be fully on the conscience of the Ukrainian authorities.

“Our plans are to not occupy Ukraine, we don’t plan to impose ourselves on anybody,” he stated, however threatened “those that could also be tempted to intervene” on Ukraine’s behalf.

“Whoever tries to intrude with us, and much more so to create threats to our nation, to our individuals, ought to know that Russia’s response might be rapid and can lead you to such penalties as you might have by no means skilled in your historical past,” he stated.

The launch of the Russian navy operation got here whilst members of the UN Safety Council met in New York to name for a peaceable decision to the approaching disaster.

Black smoke rises from a military airport in Chuguyev near Kharkiv  on February 24, 2022

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov advised overseas journalists Thursday that the “demilitarization and denazification” of Ukraine are among the many goals of Russia’s navy motion within the nation, which he described as a “particular operation.”

“Ideally, Ukraine must be liberated, cleansed of Nazis, of pro-Nazi individuals and beliefs,” Peskov stated, although he refused to say if that meant regime change in Kyiv. This Russian declare of a must “denazify” Ukraine is one Putin has touted repeatedly over time and is fully baseless.

Russian authorities have warned Russian residents to not take part in anti-war protests.

Talking in Brussels, NATO Secretary Normal Jens Stoltenberg described Russia’s assault on Ukraine as a “brutal act of struggle” and stated it put “numerous harmless lives” in danger.

“Peace on our continent has been shattered. We now have struggle in Europe, on the dimensions and of the kind we thought belonged to historical past,” he stated. “NATO allies condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine within the strongest doable phrases. It’s a blatant violation of worldwide legislation, an act of aggression in opposition to a sovereign impartial and peaceable nation.”

NATO will improve land, sea and air forces on its japanese flank, the safety alliance stated in a press release.

A local resident sits in a car as they pack to leave Mariupol, eastern Ukraine.

What’s occurring on the bottom

Ukraine’s borders had been reportedly below assault from Russian forces to the north in Belarus and the south from Crimea, in accordance with the Ukrainian State Border Service.

Russian troops had attacked border items, patrol border and checkpoints with “artillery, heavy gear and small arms,” the border service stated.

Putin lashes out with ominous threat to Ukrainians and other countries

The Russian navy claimed Ukraine’s border service “didn’t present any resistance” and claimed to have “suppressed” Ukraine’s air defenses. CNN was not in a position to instantly confirm both of these claims.

Gerashchenko, the Ukrainian Inside Ministry adviser, tweeted that troops had landed within the southern metropolis of Odessa and had been crossing the border in Kharkiv, within the nation’s northeast. In a submit on his Fb web page, he additionally stated management facilities akin to airfields and navy headquarters had been being hit by shelling in Kyiv and Kharkiv, and that there was artillery hearth alongside the border.

Ukrainian authorities stated seven individuals had been killed and 17 wounded in a missile assault on a navy space north-east of the capital.

The mayor of Brovary, Ihor Sapozhko, stated the assault occurred at 2:30 p.m. native time. Brovary has a Ukrainian Particular Forces base.

Local residents are seen refueling at a gas station in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine.

Three navy amenities within the Lviv area have been attacked, in accordance with regional governor Maksym Kozytskyy. Kozytskyy advised journalists that amenities positioned in Kamianka, Brody and Novyi Kalyniv — all within the Lviv area — had been affected.

The Russian navy launched a press release Thursday claiming it was not concentrating on Ukrainian cities, saying “the civilian inhabitants isn’t in danger.” 

“The Russian Armed Forces should not launching any missile or artillery strikes on the cities of Ukraine. Excessive-precision weapons destroy navy infrastructure: navy airfields, aviation, air protection amenities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” the assertion learn.

However regardless of the Russian navy’s claims that civilians would not be focused, many selected to depart the capital, whereas others hunkered down in shelters.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko introduced a curfew Thursday from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. native time however stated town’s subway stations would keep open across the clock.

CNN’s Anna Chernova, Anastasia Graham-Yooll, Gul Tuysuz, Ellie Kaufman, Barbara Starr, Allegra Goodwin, Vasco Cotovio, Helen Regan, Hada Messia, Nadine Schmidt, Jo Shelley, Erin Burnett and Yon Pomrenze contributed to this report.



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