Loud explosions rocked the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Odesa early on Thursday.
Ukraine’s border guard agency said the Russian military also launched an artillery barrage from neighboring Belarus. Security camera footage showed Russian military vehicles crossing into Ukraine from the Russian-annexed territory of Crimea.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy introduced martial law during an urgent national address, where he urged Ukrainians to stay home and not panic.
What has Russia said? During a televised address, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the “special military operation” was necessary to protect civilians in eastern Ukraine and demilitarize it.
He issued a stern warning to other countries that might consider any intervention, saying, “the Russian response will be immediate and lead to the consequences you have never seen in history.” Asian stock markets plunged and oil prices surged as the invasion began.
U.S. President Joe Biden called the invasion an “unprovoked and unjustified attack” and said he would address the American people on Thursday after meeting with leaders of G7 countries.
This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2022, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.