May 28, 2023

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Russia launches live strikes in Ukraine: Bombs and power outages recorded in Kiev, Mariupol, Kharkov and Kramatorsk | Vladimir Putin | War | Invasion | Donbass | Luhansk | Donetsk | NATO | World War III | Europe | The world

Powerful explosions were heard by AFP reporters in the center of Kiev and other cities this Thursday Shortly afterwards the Russian president This marked the beginning of a military operation against the former Soviet republic. Russia began its invasion of Ukraine on Thursday morning, with bombings across the country, including the capital, and ground penetrations in various parts of the region already causing the first casualties.

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View: Putin announced that he had ordered a “military operation” in Ukraine

The beginning of the invasion was strongly condemned by the majority of the international community and by Kiev, which had severed diplomatic relations with Moscow, and pledged to defend itself, while at the same time seeking international assistance to make Moscow respect for peace.

Recent weeks of diplomatic efforts and the imposition of Western sanctions against Russia Not enough to overthrow the Russian president Vladimir Putin150,000 to 200,000 troops were stationed on the Ukrainian border for several weeks.

“I have decided on a military operation”, In a televised speech at dawn, the president announced that he was not seeking “aggression” but rather the “militarization and rejection” of Ukraine and the protection of pro-Russian rebels in the east of the country.

Shortly afterwards, eruptions began to be heard in several cities in Ukraine, from Kiev to Kharkov, its second city on the Russian border, but also in Odessa or Mariupol on the shores of the Black Sea and the Sea of ​​Azov.

Bomb alarm sirens were set up in the capital, Odessa, and in Lviv (Lviv), where the United States and other countries have moved their embassies.

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The Russian military has said it is attacking Ukrainian military bases with “high-precision weapons”, destroying anti-aircraft security systems and keeping Ukrainian air bases “out of service.”

The Russian military says separatists are advancing from the east and taking control of the region.

First casualties

Kiev reported that more than 40 soldiers and a dozen Ukrainian civilians had been killed. He confirmed that there had already been ground incursions by Russian forces in the north from Russia and Belarus, but in the south into the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Moscow in 2014. Belarus, the Kremlin’s ally, promised it. Did not participate in the operation.

On February 24, 2022, when the Russian bombings begin, people carry some bags and suitcases into a metro station in Kiev, Ukraine.  (Daniel Leal / AFP).
On February 24, 2022, when the Russian bombings begin, people carry some bags and suitcases into a metro station in Kiev, Ukraine. (Daniel Leal / AFP).

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zhelensky Announced martial law across the country, but asked people not to panic. He urged the international community to form an “anti-Putin coalition” to force Moscow to respect peace.

In addition, the president decided to sever diplomatic relations with Russia, which had been maintained despite the annexation of Crimea.

“Ukrainian forces are engaged in fierce fighting. The enemy has suffered significant losses, and it will be even more significant. “Zelensky added, promising to “inflict maximum casualties” on the occupier.

The Ukrainian army shot down five planes and a helicopter in the east of the country, claiming to have killed 50 Russian occupiers.

Ukrainian authorities have closed the airspace to civil aviation for security reasons Russia Sea traffic was cut off in the Sea of ​​Azov, which connects the two countries.

On February 24, 2022, after the start of the Russian shelling, police examined shell remains on the streets of Kiev, Ukraine.  (Sergei Subinsky / AFP).
On February 24, 2022, after the start of the Russian shelling, police examined shell remains on the streets of Kiev, Ukraine. (Sergei Subinsky / AFP).

“I packed my bags and ran away”

Russia That the public promised Ukraine “They have nothing to fear”, but in the Kiev metro, dozens of people were looking for a way out of the city by shelter or by train or road. “I woke up to the sound of bombs, I packed my bags and fled,” 29-year-old Maria Kashkoska told AFP in shock at the tunnel.

At midnight, the capital’s traffic was congested. Vehicles full of families tried to leave the city as far west as possible from the Russian border, about 400 km away.

In Sukhothai, near Kharkov, a woman and her son mourn the death of a man in a missile attack, one of the first casualties of the attack.

“I told him to get out,” the son repeated tirelessly, the ditch caused by the remains of an old Lada car and a projectile that had fallen between two two-story buildings.

In a televised address, Putin urged Ukrainian troops to lay down their arms and justify his alleged “genocide” of Russian-speaking people in eastern Ukraine.

“Very sad day”

The reactions of the beginning of the invasion were immediate. Biden called on Gelensky to express his “support”, condemning the “unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces” and promising that “the world will hold Russia accountable.”

“President Putin has chosen a planned war that will bring catastrophic casualties and human suffering,” Biden said during a meeting with G7 leaders at 2:00 pm GMT on Thursday.

Emergency meetings of EU and NATO leaders are also scheduled. Jens Stoltenberg, leader of the military coalition, denounced the attack as “irresponsible and unprovoked (…) endangering the lives of countless civilians”.

Joseph Borel, the head of European diplomacy, warned that “Russia will be isolated in an unprecedented manner” and promised “the strongest and toughest sanctions we have ever adopted.”

China, which is close to Russia, indicated it was “closely monitoring” the situation and urged the parties to “relax”.

Antonio Guterres, President of the United Nations, promised that this would be the “sad day” of his decree.

Storm in the markets

After several weeks of tensions, the situation on the Ukrainian border worsened last week, with violence escalating in the east of the country, with the scene of a war between the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian separatists since 2014 killing more than 14,000 people. .

On Monday, Putin recognized the independence of the divided “republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk and questioned the legitimacy of Ukraine’s existence. A day later, the Russian parliament gave the green light for the deployment of Russian troops in Ukraine.

The invasion has hit international markets. Brent oil rose to $ 100 a barrel for the first time in seven years and stocks around the world fell on Thursday.

The Moscow Stock Exchange, which had been trading for a few hours, lost more than 30% and the Russian currency, the ruble, hit an all-time low against the dollar before the intervention of the Russian central bank.

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