In what could be considered an all-out declaration of war on the Ukraine, Russia carried out simultaneous attacks via land and air, hitting the country with attacks from the north, south, and east. Tanks rolled across the Ukraine border; planes flew over dropping bombs across the country. Even Russian helicopters were seen flying over the cities of the Ukraine. People could be seeing fleeing cities such as Kyiv and Kharkiv.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that any countries that interfere with his activities in Ukraine will face consequences “greater than any you have faced in history,”
Putin also announced that he was authorizing Russian forces to take part in a “special military operation,” justifying the action as a Russian response to “pleas for help” for Russian separatists in the region of Donbas.
Shortly after Putin’s televised announcement, blasts were heard in Kyiv. Multiple attacks were reported across Ukrainian cities. This took place around 6 AM on Thursday morning.
The Ukrainian government has said that Russian forces entered the Ukraine from Belarus in the north (some reports say the Russian forces are assisted by Belarusian military, but leader Lukashenko denies such). Other entry points include Crimea, which Russia seized and annexed in February 2014, when current American President Joe Biden was Vice President under Barack Obama. Ukraine has reported that columns of Russian troops spilled over the country’s border from Chernihiv and Luhansk. Sea ports saw an influx of Russian sailors in Odessa and Mariupol.
Reports say that the Russians have taken a power plant as part of the invasion.
Putin claims he doesn’t intend to “occupy” Ukraine.
Many neighboring countries are watching closely the actions of Putin in Ukraine. Lithuania has declared a state of emergency, and the secretary general of NATO has called for a summit of alliance leaders on Friday.
As of this writing, casualties are reported anywhere from forty individuals to closer to one hundred. The Russian military claims it has knocked out Ukraine’s airbases and air defense assets.
Fox News‘ Steve Harrigan says there have been at least twenty explosions in Kyiv, whose citizens are leaving the capital city in droves. Photos showing individuals lined up at ATM machines as well as the major highway out of Kyiv in a traffic gridlock as citizens attempt to get to safety. Ironically, the major traffic jam could actually prevent tanks from entering Kyiv, at least until traffic clears.
Harrigan says the bombing started just before daylight. He said for the next three or four hours, the bombing was heard regularly. Harrigan said most people on the ground believe that citizens of Kyiv are headed to Poland to safety.
Some believe that the first wave of the attack was the bombing and shelling of the country. However, the second wave could possibly involve capturing the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Multiple international leaders have already condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The United Kingdom’s Boris Johnson said that Putin has “unleashed war in our European continent” and Britain “cannot and will not look away.” The Romanian president called the attack “reprehensible” (Romania borders Ukraine). NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, “Russia is using force to try to rewrite history.”
Leaders across the world are now concerned for the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who could be in grave danger. Early Thursday morning, Zelenskyy tweeted, “Russian treacherously attacked our state in the morning, as Nazi Germany did in the WW2 years. As of today, our countries are on different sides of world history. Russia has embarked on a path of evil, but Ukraine is defending itself and won’t give up its freedom no matter what Moscow thinks.”
Zelenskyy has said that arms would be given to anyone willing to fight.