Live News
LIVE BLOG: Russia Declares War On Ukraine

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 24 Feb 2022, 01:02 am Print

LIVE BLOG: Russia Declares War On Ukraine

Twitter/President of Russia

Defying the Western appeals and triggering their outrage, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday announced a  military operation in Ukraine urging the Ukrainian soldiers  to lay down their arms. "I have made the decision of a military operation," Vladimir Putin said  in Moscow. In an address on national television,  Putin announced military action in Donbas, urging Ukrainian forces to lay down their arms and go home. 

LIVE Updates

Russian forces have fired more than 160 missiles, advanced closer to Kyiv: US defence official

24 Feb 2022, 02:44 pm

Image: UNI

A senior US defence official said Thursday Russian forces are making advances on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv as Moscow has continued to flow troops into the country.

The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Russian forces so far have fired "more than 160 missiles" — most of them are “short-range ballistic missiles,” but the total airstrikes include a “mix of medium-range as well as cruise missiles — on several military and civilian targets in Ukraine, which reportedly caused severe damages as well as casualties.

Hours ago, Russian troops captured Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which is located 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Kyiv. 

100,000 Ukrainians believed to be displaced: UN refugee agency

24 Feb 2022, 02:30 pm

Image: UNI

The UN refugee agency has said an estimated 100,000 people have moved within Ukraine, “fleeing the violence for safety."

According to the UN refugee agency officials, Ukrainians have fled their homes and several thousand have crossed into neighbouring countries, mainly Romania and Moldova, as the crisis between Russia and Ukraine intensifies.

Matthew Saltmarsh, a spokesperson at the agency, said there has been significant displacement inside Ukraine.

"It seems that more than 100,000 people have moved within the borders fleeing the violence for safety. And there have been movements towards and across international borders. But the situation is still chaotic and evolving fast,” the spokesperson said.

Has no plans to talk to Russian President Putin: Joe Biden

24 Feb 2022, 01:49 pm

The United States President Joe Biden on Thursday said he has no plans to talk to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

"I have no plans to talk to Russian President Putin. He wants to reestablish the former Soviet Union, I think his ambitions are completely contrary to the place where the rest of the world has arrived," the US president said.

Biden said the scale of "Putin’s aggression and the threat it poses to the international order require a resolute response, and we will continue imposing severe costs if he does not change course."

Biden imposes sanctions on Russia, cuts off high-tech exports

24 Feb 2022, 01:44 pm

US President Joe Biden on Thursday announced severe new sanctions on Russia in response to Vladimir Putin authorizing military action against Ukraine, including freezing assets of major banks and cutting off high-tech exports to the country.

"Export controls will cut off more than half of Russia's high-tech imports. We're prepared to respond to Russia's cyberattack," Biden said in an address.

He said the steps imposed in coordination with Europe will block top Russian banks from the US financial system and "cut off more than half of Russia's high-tech imports."

"Today’s actions include sweeping financial sanctions and stringent export controls that will have profound impact on Russia’s economy, financial system, and access to cutting-edge technology," Biden asserted.

"With today’s financial sanctions, we have now targeted all ten of Russia’s largest financial institutions, including the imposition of full blocking and correspondent and payable-through account sanctions, and debt and equity restrictions, on institutions holding nearly 80% of Russian banking sector assets," he said.

Calling Russia's action unprovoked aggression toward Ukraine, Biden said the same is being met with an unprecedented level of multilateral cooperation.

"As a result of Putin’s war of choice, Russia will face immediate and intense pressure on its economy, and massive costs from its isolation from the global financial system, global trade, and cutting-edge technology. This includes cutting off Russia’s largest bank from the U.S. financial system – a significant blow to its ability to function and process global trade."

It also includes full blocking sanctions on Russia’s second-largest bank – freezing any of its assets touching the U.S. financial system.

"Russia’s ability to access global markets, attract investment, and utilize the U.S. dollar will be devastated," Biden promised.

The US president said Russia’s economy has already faced intensified pressure in recent weeks before additional sanctions were even imposed.

"With these new stringent measures, these pressures will further accumulate and suppress Russia’s economic growth, increase its borrowing costs, raise inflation, intensify capital outflows, and erode its industrial base," he said.

The United States and our Allies and partners are unified and will continue to impose costs, forcing Putin to look to other countries that cannot replicate the financial and technology strengths of Western markets, Biden said.

UK Prime Minister announces largest ever sanctions targeting Russian entities, wealthy individuals

24 Feb 2022, 01:37 pm

In a slew of economic sanctions against Russia, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced measures targeting banks, members of President Vladimir Putin's closest circle and wealthy Russians who enjoy high class London lifestyles, Reuters reported.

Western countries are working to impose tough sanctions against Russia in response to its all out invasion on Ukraine.

Johnson said in Parliament that Putin would be condemned by the world and by history for his invasion, never able to cleanse the "blood of Ukraine from his hands".

"This hideous and barbarous venture of Vladimir Putin must end in failure," he told parliament while declaring the new sanctions, announcing a which saw sanctions being imposed on more than 100 Russian individuals and entities, the Reuters report stated.

"For our part today the UK is announcing the largest and most severe package of economic sanctions that Russia has ever seen."

Johnson said leaders had agreed to work together to "maximise the economic price" Putin will pay.

Announcing a 10-point sanctions package, the British government said it would impose an asset freeze on some major Russian banks, including state-owned VTB, its second-biggest bank, and stop major Russian companies from raising finance in Britain, according to the report.

This comes after western countries were criticised for imposing weaker sanction on Russia after it recognised the two breakaway republics in Ukraine.

Since the fall of Soviet Union, Russian companies have been raising funds in London's capital markets when seeking to money outside Moscow.

Among the individuals targeted by the second wave of sanctions included Kirill Shamalov, Putin's once son-in-law, Reuters reported.

Britain will also ban Russia's flagship airline Aeroflot from landing in Britain, suspend dual export licences to Russia and ban exports of some high tech exports and parts of the extractive industry, it added.

Going a step ahead of other western countries, Johnson demanded Russia's exclusion from SWIFT, the inter-bank messaging network which is the backbone of international finance - a demand made by Ukraine.

The Reuters report citing officials said that the sanctions are aimed at preventing Russians from using London, often dubbed 'Londongrad' or Moscow-on-Thames, as their playground, reducing their ability to store large amounts of cash in Britain's banks.

"These are people who have international lifestyles," a diplomatic source said. "They come to Harrods to shop, they stay in our best hotels when they like, they send their children to our best (fee-paying) schools, and that is what's being stopped."

At least 57 killed, 169 injured in Ukraine during first day of Russian invasion: Ukrainian Healthcare Minister

24 Feb 2022, 01:11 pm

                                                         Image: UNI

Ukrainian Healthcare Minister Viktor Lyashko said Thursday that at least 57 people have died and 169 others have been wounded – including both combat and non-combat injuries – following attacks by Russian forces during the first day of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

While speaking live on Ukraine’s 1+1 TV channel, Viktor Lyashko said hospitals and medical workers had also come under fire on Thursday with casualties reported among healthcare personnel.

Russian troops capture Chernobyl nuclear power plant: Ukrainian official

24 Feb 2022, 12:15 pm

                                       File image by Viktor Hesse on Unsplash

Following a hour-long battle with the Ukrainian soldiers, Russian troops have seized the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, a Ukranian presidential adviser said. 

Earlier the day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had announced that Russian forces were trying to capture the Chernobyl nuclear site.

"Russian occupation forces are trying to seize the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Our defenders are giving their lives so that the tragedy of 1986 will not be repeated. Reported this to Swidish Prime Minister. This is a declaration of war against the whole of Europe," he tweeted hours ago.

The nuclear power plant, located 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, witnessed the worst nuclear disaster in history both in cost and casualties as one of its reactors exploded in April 26, 1986, sending a radioactive cloud across Europe.

Ukraine crisis rooted in ‘provocative moves’ by NATO: Iranian Foreign Minister

24 Feb 2022, 05:55 am

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said the Ukraine crisis is rooted in NATO's provocative moves.

"The Ukraine crisis is rooted in NATO's provocations," Amir-Abdollahian tweeted.

"We don't believe that resorting to war is a solution," said the Iranian FM, adding that, "Imperative to establish ceasefire & to find a political and democratic resolution."

NATO deploying reinforcement to eastern part of the Alliance

24 Feb 2022, 05:41 am

Condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine and criticizing Belarus for enabling this attack, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), in a statement, said it is deploying additional defensive land and air forces to the eastern part of the Alliance, as well as additional maritime assets.

"We have increased the readiness of our forces to respond to all contingencies," the statement read.

NATO said this renewed attack is a grave violation of international law, including the UN Charter, and is wholly contradictory to Russia’s commitments in the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris, the Budapest Memorandum and the NATO-Russia Founding Act.

"It constitutes an act of aggression against an independent peaceful country," it said in the statement.

Calling on Russia to immediately cease its military action and withdraw all its forces from in and around Ukraine, tha NATO has urged Moscow to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access and assistance to all persons in need.

"Today, we have held consultations under Article 4 of the Washington Treaty. We have decided, in line with our defensive planning to protect all Allies, to take additional steps to further strengthen deterrence and defence across the Alliance," according to the NATO statement.

"Our measures are and remain preventive, proportionate and non-escalatory," it added.

More than 40 Ukrainian soldiers, 10 civilians killed so far: Ukrainian official

24 Feb 2022, 04:11 am

An adviser to the Ukrainian President's office said more than 40 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and dozens injured in the first hours of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The official said at least 10 civilians have lost their lives due to the shelling by the Russian troops.

Earlier in the morning, the Ukrainian military claimed to have killed more than "50 Russian occupiers" by shooting down six Russian planes and helicopters in the process.

Russian government officials, however, dismissed the claims by Ukraine, according to TASS news agency.

"The information by foreign media about Russian planes allegedly shot down over Ukraine does not correspond to reality," the Russian defence ministry said.

Ukraine breaks diplomatic ties with Russia

24 Feb 2022, 03:47 am

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has announced to break Kyiv's diplomatic ties with Moscow, following Russia's full-flown air and ground military attack on Ukraine.

"We have severed diplomatic relations with Russia. For all those who have not yet lost their conscience in Russia, it is time to go out and protest against the war with Ukraine," Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter.

Russia treacherously attacked our state in the morning, as Nazi Germany did in World War II 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," the Ukrainian President said, in another tweet.

Will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend Ukraine, says Ukrainian President

24 Feb 2022, 03:30 am

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday said the country will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend Ukraine from the Russian aggression.

"We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country. Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities," Zelenskyy tweeted.

In another tweet, the Ukrainian President said, "We will lift sanctions on all citizens of Ukraine who are ready to defend our country as part of territorial defense with weapons in hands."

Russia must 'immediately' end military operations in Ukraine: French President

24 Feb 2022, 02:50 am

Condemning the Russian aggression on Ukraine, French President Emmanuel Macron said Russia must “immediately” end military operations in Ukraine.

"France strongly condemns Russia's decision to wage war on Ukraine. Russia must end its military operations immediately," Macron tweeted.

"France stands in solidarity with Ukraine. It stands with the Ukrainians and works with its partners and allies to end the war," the French President said.

Russian invasion of Ukraine is 'brutal and unprovoked': Australian Prime Minister

24 Feb 2022, 02:39 am

Condemning the Russian invasion on Ukraine, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday called the move by Russia "brutal" and "unprovoked."

In a statement, Scott Morrison said there is no justification for this aggression, whose cost will be borne by innocent Ukrainians.

"Vladimir Putin has fabricated a feeble pretext on which to invade. Russia’s disinformation and propaganda has convinced no one," said Morrison, adding that, "We call on Russia to cease its illegal and unprovoked actions, and to stop violating Ukraine’s independence. Russia must reverse its breach of international law and of the UN Charter, and withdraw its military from Ukraine."

"We reiterate our staunch support for Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity – the bedrock principles of a rules-based world order. Australia will continue playing our part to ensure Russia pays the high price this invasion warrants," the Australian PM said.

Morrison said Australian will place financial sanctions on an additional 25 persons and four entities who have been responsible for the "unprovoked and unacceptable aggression".

"We will put restrictions on Australians investing in a further four financial institutions," he added.

EU Commission President promises 'harshest ever sanctions' against Russia

24 Feb 2022, 02:14 am

The European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promised to "weaken Russia's economic base and its capacity to modernize" by imposing "harshest ever sanctions" in response to Moscow's "barbaric attack" on Ukraine.

"The sanctions will target strategic sectors of Russia’s economy. We will freeze Russian assets in the EU and stop access of Russian banks to our financial market. This is designed to take a heavy toll on the Kremlin’s ability to finance war," Ursula von der Leyen tweeted.

The EU Commission President said, "We will not let President Putin tear down Europe's security architecture. He should not underestimate the resolve and strength of our democracies."

"The European Union stands with Ukraine and its people. Ukraine will prevail," she added.

The EU Commission leader said Russia's target is not only Donbass or Ukraine, the target is the stability in Europe and the whole of the international peace order, and the EU will hold President Putin accountable for that.

"Later today we will present a package of massive, targeted sanctions," the EU Commission President said.

US Embassy in Ukraine tells Americans to "shelter in place"

24 Feb 2022, 01:58 am

The United States Embassy in Ukraine has issued a warning for Americans in the country to “shelter in place” due to the reports of Russian attacks in a number of major Ukrainian cities.

"There are reports of Russian attacks on targets in a number of major Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, Mariupol, and others. US citizens in Ukraine are advised to shelter in place," according to a statement released by the US embassy in Ukraine.

"Further Russian military action can occur at any time without warning. US citizens throughout Ukraine are strongly encouraged to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness," the US warning added.

China warns its nationals to stay inside and put Chinese flags on their cars for safety

24 Feb 2022, 01:48 am

Releasing a warning on Thursday, the Chinese embassy in Ukraine has urged its citizens in the country to stay insiden and place Chinese flag on their vehicles for safety.

The warning released by the Chinese embassy in Ukraine read: "The situation in Ukraine has deteriorated dramatically. There have been bombings in multiple cities, and the military operations are under way."

The embassy has also urged citizens to stay home and away from windows or glass as "serious riots" may happen on the streets.

The embassy has asked its citizens to pay close attention to the situation, stay in contact with overseas Chinese organizations, and to "extend a helping hand to each other to reflect the image of the Chinese people and the strength of China."

Bitcoin price falls after Russia launches invasion of Ukraine

24 Feb 2022, 01:39 am

The price of bitcoin fell below $35,000 early Thursday shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin had announced a military operation in the Donbas region of Ukraine.

According to CoinMarketCap, Bitcoin was trading at $34,969 as of 1:22 am. ET (06:22 am. GMT), which was a decline of more than 8 percent compared to a day earlier.

Bitcoin, the world's most valuable cryptocurrency fell below $40,000 over the weekend, and has continued to slide as the Russia-Ukraine crisis intensifies.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine 'shakes foundations of international order': Japan's Prime Minister

24 Feb 2022, 01:31 am

Condemning the Russian invasion on Ukraine, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday said the move by Russia "shakes the foundations of the international order."

"We strongly criticize Russia's actions and will cooperate with the United States and the international community to respond swiftly," Kishida told reporters at a news conference.

Japan's PM said Tokyo will continue to work with relevant ministries to ensure the safety of Japanese nationals in Ukraine.

Earlier on Wednesday, Kishida said Japan will impose sanctions against Russia for its actions in Ukraine.

People in Ukrainian city of Lviv urged to take cover

24 Feb 2022, 01:19 am

Local authorities of Lviv in western Ukraine have urged its residents not to panic following Russia’s attack on the country, according to local sources.

Authorities in the city asked Lviv residents to turn off their lights and take cover, and to hold on to their important documents, a local state-run TV report said.

The emergency alert broadcast by Lviv Civil Administration urged the residents of the city to "Help the sick and elderly" and "Keep calm and order".

Russian military vehicles enter Ukraine from Crimea: Ukrainian Border Guard

24 Feb 2022, 01:01 am

According to a video released by the Ukrainian Border Guard, a series of Russian military vehicles have entered Ukraine through Crimea, though it's unclear which border crossing the vehicles are entering Ukraine from — Chongar in the east or Kalanchak in the west.

Earlier this morning, a livestream video from the Belarus border crossing, which was shout around 6:48 am. local time at the crossing between Senkivka, Ukraine, and Veselovka, Belarus, showed a column of troops and military vehicles entering Ukraine.


23 Feb 2022, 09:55 pm

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: I strongly condemn Russia’s reckless and unprovoked attack on Ukraine, which puts at risk countless civilian lives. Once again, despite our repeated warnings and tireless efforts to engage in diplomacy, Russia has chosen the path of aggression against a sovereign and independent country.

This is a grave breach of international law, and a serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security. I call on Russia to cease its military action immediately and respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. NATO Allies will meet to address the consequences of Russia’s aggressive actions. We stand with the people of Ukraine at this terrible time. NATO will do all it takes to protect and defend all Allies.

USA reacts: Russia alone responsible for death and destruction, says Biden

23 Feb 2022, 09:53 pm

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.

Putin urges Ukrainian forces to lay down arms

23 Feb 2022, 09:51 pm

In an address  on national television,  Putin announced military action in Donbas, urging Ukrainian forces to lay down their arms and go home, according to state-run news agencies RIA-Novosti and TASS.Putin warned that all responsibility for any potential bloodshed will be on the conscience of the Ukrainian government, and said he was confident Russian service members will fulfill their duty.Putin earlier had recognized the independence of self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics of Ukraine.

According to Sputnik, Putin has directed Russian forces to conduct a special operation in the Donbass region, according to February 24 remarks from the Russian president. Putin declared that he expects consolidated Parliamentary support for the operation in the Donbass region.