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Russian troops attack several cities in Ukraine

Putin announced a “special military operation” in Donbass and, shortly after 5 am local time, the first explosions and attacks on infrastructure were reported in various parts of Ukrainian territory, including Kyiv.

After several weeks of warnings and military movements in the vicinity of Ukraine, the Russian Armed Forces advanced this Thursday, at around 5 am local time, into Ukrainian territory, attacking several cities in the country and mobilizing troops through Crimea, the Donbass and other points along the border, and in response to an authorization from President Vladimir Putin to launch a “special military operation”.

“Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine’s peaceful cities are under attack,” Dmitro Kuleba, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, denounced via Twitter.

There are reports of explosions in several cities, including Kiev, but also Kharkiv, Odessa, Dnipro and Mariupol. In the capital and in other urban centers there are images of thousands of cars stopped on the main access roads, of residents looking to escape. Metro stations and bus stops are also crowded and there are still long lines of people at ATMs and petrol stations.

According to the Ukrainian army, Russian forces fired several missiles at military infrastructure and even at civilian targets. Oleksii ​Reznikov, Defense Minister, launched an appeal to all citizens to “take up arms” and “join the Territorial Defense Forces” of their “local region”.

The Russian army says it has annihilated Ukraine’s air defenses and says the attacks do not pose a threat to civilians or Ukrainian cities.

“The air defense assets of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been suppressed”, celebrated the Russian Ministry of Defense, in a statement quoted by the Interfax agency, in which it informs that the news about the Ukrainian shooting down of a Russian warplane is false.

Cited by RT, representatives of the breakaway provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk, in eastern Ukraine, which had asked the Kremlin for military aid the day before, also report clashes with Ukrainian troops “along the entire front line”. and “using all available means of destruction”.

International agencies and media in the field are starting to receive reports of the first fatalities, although the numbers are, at this time, difficult to calculate. A spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry counted at least eight dead and 11 wounded in the first hours of the military aggression.

Volodymyr Zelenskii, the Ukrainian President, quickly declared martial law, said he called the President of the United States, Joe Biden, and, through a video, sent a message of confidence to the population: “The Army is working. No panic. We are strong. We are ready for anything. We will defeat them all.”

The Kremlin guarantees, however, that there are Ukrainian soldiers who are reacting to the Russian offensive by running away. “There are units of the Ukrainian Army and military that are abandoning their posts en masse, laying down their weapons”, says the Ministry of Defense, in a statement, without presenting, however, any evidence to support this scenario.

The United States, NATO and several European countries have already condemned the Russian aggression and their representatives will meet in an emergency in the next few hours, probably to move forward with the toughest economic sanctions they had left in the drawer.

“Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction that this attack will bring, and the United States and its allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive manner,” the US President reacted.

“We will not allow President Putin to overturn Europe’s security architecture. He must not underestimate the determination and strength of our democracies. The European Union supports Ukraine and its people. Ukraine will prevail,” said Ursula von der Leyen.

In addition to Biden and the President of the European Commission, Boris Johnson (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom), Olaf Scholz (German Chancellor), Emmanuel Macron (President of France), Mario Draghi (Prime Minister of Italy), Jens Stoltenberg ( NATO Secretary General) and António Guterres (United Nations Secretary General), among others, also strongly condemned the Russian attack on Ukraine.

Source: With Agencies

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