LIVE: Russian invasion of Ukraine

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - Early Thursday morning Russian President Vladimir Putin announced “a special military operation” against Ukraine on Thursday morning to eliminate what he called a serious threat, saying his aim was to demilitarise Russia’s southern neighbor.

Shortly after there were reports of shelling in major cities across Ukraine.

In response Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia was attacking his country’s “military infrastructure” and border guards, but urged citizens not to panic and vowed victory.

In a video message posted on after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the launch of a military operation against Ukraine, Zelensky also introduced martial law across the country, adding that he had spoken by phone with US President Joe Biden.

“This morning, Russia launched a new military operation against our state,” Zelensky said in a separate message posted on the presidential website.

“This is a completely groundless, cynical invasion,” he said.

“We, the citizens of Ukraine, have been determining our own future since 1991,” he said in reference to the year of the Soviet Union's collapse.

“But now, what is being decided is not only our country’s future, but also the future of how Europe will live.”

Here is a live update of the main developments in Ukraine as they happen. (All timings are in GMT)

09:01: Germany says European Union will launch the ‘most massive sanctions’ against Russia.

08:48: The Ukrain military says about 50 Russians have been killed and 6 planes destroyed in eastern Ukraine

08:42: Lithuania declares a state of emergency as Russian invasion of Ukraine continues.

08:32: Ukraine police say they will distribute weapons to veterans.

08:31: Belarus leader says his army not taking part in Ukraine invasion.

08:04: Explosions are heard in the east Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.



07:54: Ukrainian President Zelensky calls for European ‘unity’ in call with French President Emmanuel Macron

07:34: Iran urges its citizens in Ukraine to leave the country.

07:18: Australia announces ‘second phase’ of sanctions against Russia.

07:17: Russian-backed separatists say they downed 2 Ukrainian drones.

07:15: Russian ruble falls 9% against dollar after Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

07:15: Ukraine says at least 7 people have killed by Russian shelling and 9 wounded.

06:55: Denmark closes its embassy in Kiev.

06:44: Casualties reported in Brovary in the Kyiv region, according to Ukraine interior ministry advisor.

06:43: Low cost airline Wizz Air suspends all operations in Ukraine.

06:42: Japan’s Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, says the Russian attack ‘shakes foundation of international order.’ Read the story in Arab News Japan

06:33: Four more blasts heard to the east of Ukrainian city of Mariupol: Reuters report.

06:26: Italy’s Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, condemns the Russian attack, describing it as ‘unjustified and unjustifiable.’

06:26: Ukraine police say 2 villages in Luhansk region have been seized.

06:23: Saudi stocks tumble as the trading session starts Thursday amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Brent crude crossed $100 for the first time since 2014, rising 6.22 percent to $102.9 as of 10:07 a.m. Saudi time. US benchmark WTI went up to $97.59 a barrel.

06:10: Russia’s Defense Ministry says Ukraine’s air defense has been degraded.

06:06: Ukraine military says 5 Russian planes and 1 helicopter were shot down in Luhansk region – a claim Russia denies.

05:42: Ukraine’s emergency services say an ammunition depot in Kyiv is on fire

05:39: Ukraine’s border was attacked by Russian troops from Russia and Belarus, as well as Crimea.

05:37: US Foreign Secretary Antony Blinken says allies are united in responding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and strengthening NATO’S eastern flank

05:31: Ukraine military says its air force is repelling an air attack by the invading forces.

05:30: Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson says Putin ‘has chosen a path of bloodshed’ in Ukraine.

05:21: Reuters report sirens heard in Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

05:20: German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz says the Russian military operation is ‘a glaring violation’ of international rights.

05:19: NATO ambassadors say they will hold an urgent meeting on the Russia invasion

05:16: Two blasts heard in Mariupol one after another, from an easterly direction according to Reuters.

05:15: US President Joe Biden says the US will continue to provide support and assistance to Ukraine and its people.

05:09: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kulbela tweeted “The world must impose devastating sanctions on Russia.”



05:00: President of the European Commission Ursula Von Der Leyen strongly condemned Russia’s “unjustified attack on Ukraine.”

And she said “we will hold the Kremlin accountable.”

Adding: “In these dark hours, our thoughts are with Ukraine and the innocent women, men and children as they face this unprovoked attack and fear for their lives.”

04:55: Russian-backed rebels say they had started the attack on the Ukraine-controlled town near Luhansk.

Elsewhere explosions are heard in Ukraine’s Kramatorsk.

04:54: Ukraine’s president tells people to stay at home as much as possible and urged them not to panic.



04:51: The Ukraine President announces the introduction of marital law across the country and says explosions have been heard in many of Ukraine’s cities.

04:48: Explosions heard in Ukraine’s Kharkiv, near the Russian border, news agency AFP reports.

04:46: Russia’s defense ministry says it is not targeting Ukrainian cities with missile or artillery strikes.

04:44: Kyiv mayor tells citizens to stay home after explosions heard in the Ukraine capital.

04:40: Moscow’s UN envoy says Russia is targeting what it calls the ‘junta in power in Kiev.’

04:39: Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau says his country “condemns in the strongest possible terms Russia’s egregious attack on Ukraine.

And he says his country will take additional action to stop Russia’s unwarranted aggression

04:37: Ukraine foreign ministry calls on allies to immediately activate package of new sanctions.

04:35: Artillery fire heard in Donetsk news agency Reuters reports.

04:35: Chinese envoy to the UN says China believes the door to a peaceful solution to the “Ukraine issue” has not been completely shut, and should not be shut

04:24: Ukraine calls on Russia and the UN ‘to stop the war.’

04:19: Gueterres describes the attack on Ukraine as ‘saddest moment in my tenure’ as secretary-general.

04:18: UN Secretary-General Gueterres tells Russia’s Putin: “In the name of humanity bring your troops back to Russia.”

04:12: Russian troops land in Mariupol and Odessa: IFX

04:11: Ukrainska Pravda news website says Ukrainian military command centers in Kyiv, Kharkiv have been attacked by missile strikes.

04:11: Ukraine closes airspace to civilian planes.

04:08: The French envoy to the UN condemns Russia for choosing war, and says Russia must be held accountable at UN security council.

04:07: Explosions heard in Ukraine’s Black Sea port Odessa according to the news agency AFP.

04:07: Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN tells the Russian UN envoy “there is no purgatory for war criminals, they go straight in hell.”

04:03: The Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure says passengers and staff evacuated from Kyiv airport.  

04:00: The NATO chief condemns Russia’s ‘reckless and unprovoked attack’ on Ukraine.



03:11: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin says in case of any interference, Russia will react immediately: TASS

03:00: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin calls on Ukrainian soldiers to immediately lay down their weapons and go home: TASS

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