President of Russia, Vladimir Putin on Thursday announced a military operation in Ukraine and warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to “consequences they have never seen.”
Shortly after he spoke, large explosions were heard in Kyiv, Kharkiv and other areas of Ukraine.
Videos showed heavy artillery fire and what appeared to be missile strikes. The Ukrainian government said a Russian invasion had begun and military sites nationwide were being attacked. There were also unconfirmed reports of Russian ground troops moving into Odessa and Kharkiv.
A Ukrainian Interior Ministry official told CNN there had been “hundreds” of casualties, without providing details. The figure could not be immediately confirmed.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said 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 tweeted
Putin said the attack was needed to protect civilians in eastern Ukraine – a claim the US had predicted he would falsely make to justify an invasion.
In a televised address, Putin accused the US and its allies of ignoring Russia’s demand to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO and offer Moscow security guarantees. He said Russia’s goal was not to occupy Ukraine.
US President Joe Biden denounced the “unprovoked and unjustified” attack on Ukraine and said the world will “hold Russia accountable.”
A full-blown Russian invasion could cause massive casualties and topple Ukraine’s democratically elected government. And the consequences of the conflict and resulting sanctions levied on Russia could reverberate throughout the world, affecting energy supplies in Europe, jolting global financial markets and threatening the post-Cold War balance on the continent
SEE VIDEO BELOW:
LIVE UPDATES: Explosion Rocks Ukraine pic.twitter.com/6i8lJhHPF3
— NaijaMedia News (@NaijamediaNews) February 24, 2022