On Thursday morning, Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The attacks are being carried out on a large scale, not just in the east of the country. Kiev is fiercely defending itself, and the West is condemning the aggression and announcing that it will impose tough new sanctions on Moscow later today.
The war began at 5 a.m. this morning. Russian cruise missiles fell on Ukrainian airports near Kiev, in Ozernoye, Kulbakin, Chuguev, Kramatorsk, Chernobayevka, as well as Lutsk near the Polish border. Military bases were also attacked.
The Russian air force also came into action. Before noon, the Ukrainian military reported shooting down seven Russian fighters, destroying four tanks and two helicopters, and eliminating 50 Russian infantry soldiers in the east of the country.
At the same time, artillery shelling along the demarcation line in Donbass began. The Ukrainian government also confirmed the attack on Ukrainian forces located near the border with Belarus. CNN showed live footage of Russian tanks entering Ukraine from Belarus at the border crossing between Veselovka and Senkivka, less than 100 kilometers northeast of Kiev. The attack also came from the side of Russian-occupied Crimea.
Early this morning, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry reported that there were rocket attacks on military infrastructure facilities in Kiev, Kharkiv and Dnipro.
Attacks have also occurred in other regions of the country, including Lugansk, Sumy, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, and Zhytomyr, the Ukrainian Border Guard reported. They are carried out using artillery, heavy equipment and firearms, the statement from the Ukrainian Interior Ministry added, cited by the independent Meduza website.
The attack also continues from the territories of the self-proclaimed republics. People’s militia units of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic have launched an assault on the town of Shchastye, which is located about 30 kilometers from Lugansk, Interfax news agency reported, citing an adviser to the head of the interior ministry of the Lugansk Republic, Vitaly Kiselyev. Donetsk People’s Republic militia representative Eduard Basurin told Interfax that „Donetsk People’s Republic forces are hitting Ukrainian army positions along the entire contact line.”
Russia has also closed the Sea of Azov to shipping. Russian missiles are known to have fallen on Mariupol, a port city on the Sea of Azov with a population of half a million. However, the city remains under Ukrainian control.
Ukraine’s army reported that it managed to retake the town of Shchastye, near Luhansk, occupied by pro-Russian forces. In turn, the Interior Ministry reported that a bridge across the Donets River in the Donbass was blown up. In this way, the passage of Russian tanks was blocked.