Russian President Vladamir Putin declared war on Ukraine in a live televised speech before 6 a.m local time. In his speech, he called it a ‘special military operation’ to ‘demilitarize’ Ukraine. Shortly after his speech, explosions rocked several Ukrainian cities including the capital Kyiv. Putin also warned other countries to not interfere with Russia’s action or they will face “consequences they have never seen”.
Putin justified his action saying that the attack was necessary to protect civilians in eastern Ukraine. Putin in his speech said that the attack was a result of western countries not adhering to Russia’s demands. Russia wanted to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO because of security concerns.
In his speech, Putin said that the clash between Russia and Ukraine was “inevitable” and was “only a question of time”. Earlier this week Russia recognised the breakaway territories of Luhansk and Donetsk, collectively known as the Donbas region, as independent.
Ukraine’s state border service claims that Russia started its attack “At 5 a.m” in the border area with Russia and Belarus. Russia, with the support of Belarus in the border areas, attacked Ukraine’s border units, border patrols and checkpoints. The attacks were carried out in multiple regions of eastern and northern Ukraine and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine declared martial law in the country. He urged the people not to come out of their homes. He assured them that the army is doing their job and they will win.
Zelenskyy’s full statement:
Dear Ukrainian citizens, this morning President Putin announced a special military operation in Donbas. Russia conducted strikes on our military infrastructure and our border guards. There were blasts heard in many cities of Ukraine. We’re introducing martial law on the whole territory of our country. A minute ago I had a conversation with President Biden. The US has already started uniting international support. Today each of you should keep calm. Stay at home if you can. We are working. The army is working. The whole sector of defence and security is working.” “No panic. We are strong. We are ready for everything. We will win over everybody because we are Ukraine.