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Vladimir Putin orders invasion of Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin has authorised troops to carry out a special military operation in the Donbas region of Ukraine, Russian news agencies said on Thursday morning.

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The agencies quoted Putin as saying Russia “could not tolerate what he called the threats from Ukraine” and “warning against foreign interference.”

The operation commenced just around 5 am Kyiv time.

Putin called Ukrainian soldiers to lay down their arms and return home. The Russian leader said that he intends to “de-militarise” and “de-nazify” Ukraine. He added that Russia does not plan to occupy the country.

In a special televised address on Russian state TV, Putin
said Russia has been left with “no choice but to defend itself
against what he said were threats emanating from modern Ukraine.”

Media report about explosions heard around the eastern border of Ukraine. During the live broadcast of CNN television from Kyiv, the capital of the country, distant blasts were heard in the background.

⚡️Explosions heard in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, Kramatorsk.

— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) February 24, 2022

Joe Biden: unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine

US President Joe Biden has issued a statement after receiving news that Russia has commenced its invasion of Ukraine.

“The prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces,” the statement reads.

“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering. Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable,” President Biden wrote.

He added that he is monitoring the situation from the White House and will speak to his G7 counterparts on Thursday.

Read the whole statement here

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