Putin has attacked Ukraine this morning. “I have made the decision to launch a special military operation,” the Russian president said in a televised statement shortly before 03:00 GMT, in which he once again denounced what the Kremlin calls “Ukrainian-orchestrated genocide in the east of the country”, which is denied by both Ukraine, the EU, NATO and the US.
Putin, who in his televised speech has shown no evidence of such a genocide, has taken refuge in the call for help from the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk made on Wednesday night, and has assured that the military operation “will not affect civilians”.RELATED
The president of Ukraine, Volodímir Zelenski, who has already decreed martial law in the country, has reported this morning of Russian attacks against the infrastructure of the country’s Armed Forces, reports Efe: “Russia has launched attacks against our military infrastructure and guards borders,” Zelensky said, adding: “We are strong, we are ready for everything, we will overcome everything. We are Ukraine.”
The Russian Ministry of Defense, for its part, reported in turn that it uses “high-precision weapons” in the operation it has started in eastern Ukraine, which, it maintains, is “directed against military infrastructure and does not threaten civilians”.
“The military infrastructure, the air defense facilities, the military airfields, the aviation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are being deactivated with high-precision weapons,” the ministry said, according to the official Russian news agency TASS and collected by Efe.
In a statement released by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, it states that the Russian operation is aimed at “destroying the Ukrainian state, seizing its territory by force and establishing an occupation.”
At the moment, according to information broadcast by Russia TodayExplosions have already been reported in several Ukrainian cities, including Odessa and eastern Ukraine after Vladimir Putin announced a military operation in Donbas.
According to some reports, in Kiev there have been at least two explosions in the city center in the early hours of the morning, followed by the sound of ambulance sirens. Other information released by Sky News, on the other hand, states that there has only been the sound of sirens.
In the port city of Mariupol, the largest Ukrainian city near the front line with almost half a million inhabitants, several people told AFP they heard artillery shelling from the eastern district of the city, according to RT, which also notes that Closer to the front lines of the eastern conflict between the two self-proclaimed republics and Ukrainian forces since 2014, in Kramatorsk, a city that also serves as the headquarters of the Ukrainian Army, at least four powerful explosions were also recorded, according to AFP.
600 km away, in southern Ukraine, in the Black Sea port city of Odessa, explosions also rang out, according to RT.
The military operations, which some sources also place on the Ukrainian border with Belarus, may bring with them, at least, an expansion of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, whose limits had been drawn in the Minsk agreements that have already been jumped by the airs. According to the units of the People’s Militia of the Lugansk People’s Republic, they have started the operation to “liberate” the territory of the LPR that is under the control of Kiev, said Ivan Filiponenko, representative of the military department of the LPR, informs Interfax: “On February 24, the People’s Militia of the Lugansk People’s Republic began artillery preparation and an operation to liberate the temporarily occupied territories of the Lugansk People’s Republic.”
US President Joe Biden, for his part, has denounced Russia’s “unjustified attack” against Ukraine. “President Putin has chosen [lanzar] a premeditated war that will cause catastrophic human loss and suffering,” the US president said in a statement. “Russia is solely responsible for the death and destruction this attack will cause,” he insisted.
A complaint that has also been made by the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres. “This war makes no sense. This is the saddest moment of my mandate as Secretary General of the United Nations,” Guterres declared at the end of an emergency meeting of the Security Council, which he himself had opened asking the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, not to launch an offensive in Ukraine, reports Efe.
During the meeting, Putin announced from Moscow the beginning of the military intervention. “In the current circumstances I must change my call and say: ‘President Putin, in the name of humanity return your troops to Russia. In the name of humanity do not allow what could be the worst war since the beginning to start in Europe. of the century,'” Guterres told reporters.
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has condemned “the unjustified” attack on Ukraine: “At this time our thoughts are with the innocent women, men and children who face this unprovoked attack and fear for their lives We will hold the Kremlin to account.”
Von der Leyen and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, issued a condemnation statement on the same day that EU leaders meet in Brussels: “With its unprovoked and unjustified military actions, Russia is seriously violating international law and undermining European and global security and stability. We call on Russia to immediately cease hostilities, withdraw its army from Ukraine and fully respect the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. Such use of force and coercion has no place in the 21st century.”
President Michel of the European Council has urgently convened an extraordinary meeting of the European Council in which the heads of state and government of the 27 will meet this Thursday “to discuss the crisis and other sanctions with serious and devastating consequences on Russia for its action”.
“We deplore the loss of life and humanitarian suffering. The EU and its Member States are prepared to urgently provide an emergency humanitarian response. We call on Russia and Russian-backed armed formations to respect international humanitarian law,” they say. Michel and Von der Leyen.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has also expressed his condemnation of the attack “which puts countless human lives at risk.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, for his part, has also expressed his condemnation of the Russian military intervention, speaking of “horrible events in Ukraine”, adding that Putin had chosen “the path of bloodshed and destruction by launching this unprovoked attack. The UK and our allies will respond decisively.