Russian forces fired missiles at several Ukrainian cities and landed troops on its south coast on Thursday, Feb. 24, as war has tentatively started in eastern Europe accompanied by breathless media coverage.
Explosions heard in Ukraine
Explosions have been reported across the Ukraine, including in capital Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol, Dnipro, Odessa, Slavayansk and Kramatorsk, as Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine’s Donetsk have launched large-scale strikes against Ukrainian forces, The Guardian reported.
Ukraine’s defence minister said Russia began intense shelling of Ukrainian military units in the east, as well as military control centres and airfields.
Shelling of Mariupol. OSINT mavens, have at it. pic.twitter.com/ErUKzaHjy1— Michael Weiss (@michaeldweiss) February 24, 2022
Reports of air raid sirens going off and explosions are coming out of Kyiv, as rocket attacks on Ukrainian fighter jets were witnessed at an airport outside the city.
Kharkiv pic.twitter.com/LfwcNmOhwA— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) February 24, 2022
Russia said those were precision military strikes on military targets in Ukraine.
Russian troops have landed in Odessa while others are crossing the border into Kharkiv.
CNN now showing footage of Russian tanks crossing into Ukraine from Belarus. Just surreal. pic.twitter.com/JjsJ468wmR— max seddon (@maxseddon) February 24, 2022
A few hours before these reports trickled in, Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba confirmed Russia’s “full-scale invasion” of Ukraine.
Putin has just 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.— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) February 24, 2022
Ukraine president addresses nation
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made an urgent national address in the morning, introducing martial law while urging people to remain calm.
Zelensky said Russia has carried out missile strikes on Ukraine infrastructure and on Ukrainian border guards with explosions being heard in many cities across the country.
He added that he had spoken with U.S. president Joe Biden, and told Ukrainians to stay home and to stay calm: “The army works. I will be with you all the time. Stay strong. We will win because we are Ukraine. Glory to Ukraine”
❗️ Звернення Президента Володимира Зеленського pic.twitter.com/oQ1bsB6Ow8— Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) February 24, 2022
Following these events, Russia president Vladimir Putin announced that Russia will carry out a “special military operation” in Ukraine, Reuters reported.
In an address to the Russian people hours after he effectively declared war on Ukraine, and coinciding with the United Nations security council meeting, the Russian president said clashes between Ukrainian and Russian forces are “inevitable” and “only a question of time”.
He further slammed Nato expansion and its use of Ukraine’s territory as unacceptable, and reiterated that the Russian military operation aims to “protect people”.
Ukraine claimed it shot down Russian planes
As the ongoing chaos unfolds and under the fog of war, information coming out of Ukraine appears muddied and used to rally troops and people.
Ukraine’s defence ministry said it has shot down five Russian planes and one helicopter in a statement posted on its Facebook page.
However, the Russian military denied that one of its planes was shot down in fighting over Ukraine this morning.
British prime minister response
British prime minister Boris Johnson has responded to the Russian attack on Ukraine.
I am appalled by the horrific events in Ukraine and I have spoken to President Zelenskyy to discuss next steps.— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) February 24, 2022
President Putin has chosen a path of bloodshed and destruction by launching this unprovoked attack on Ukraine.
The UK and our allies will respond decisively.
Oil and gold surge in prices
Brent crude oil prices crossed US$100 per barrel for first time since 2014.
Safe haven currencies such as the yen and US dollar rose, along with gold and other valuable commodities such as nickel and wheat.
Top photo via OSINTtechnical Twitter
Follow and listen to our podcast here