Russian troops enter Ukraine, explosions heard in cities

War has begun.

Belmont Lay | February 24, 2022, 02:28 PM

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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.

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.

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.

A few hours before these reports trickled in, Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba confirmed Russia’s “full-scale invasion” of Ukraine.

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”

Putin responds

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.

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

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