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Russia - Ukraine crisis | News summary 24 February

Update:
All the latest news and information as Russian forces mount a military attack on Ukraine, targeting the capital of Kyiv and killing 57 Ukrainians in the process.

Ukraine-Russia crisis: live updates

Headlines: What's the latest from Ukraine? 

- President Zelensky bans males aged 18-60 from leaving Ukraine and broadens the conscription effort 

- Russian forces take the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Ukraine's northern border - Why does Putin want Chernobyl?

- President Biden gives a White House speech promising tough action against Russian expansion

- Explosions heard in Kyiv and Kharkiv, as well as Dnipro, Kramatorsk, Kharkiv, Odessa and Mariupol

-Russian troops have landed at Odessa and entered Ukraine near the northern city of Kharkiv

- US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen promises "swift and severe consequences to the Kremlin"

- President Joe Biden issues statementcondemning the Russian attacks on Ukraine and saying the world will hold Russia accountable

- Donald Trump describes Putin's invasion as "genius", "smart" and "savvy"

- Germany puts the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would have transported natural gas from Russia to Europe, on hold

- New economic sanctions prevent trade with Russian-backed separatists in the Donbas region 

What you need to know about the conflict

- When did Ukrainebecome an independent state?

- What new economic sanctions can the West impose on Russia, Russian citizens and the Donbas region?

- Explainer: What is a false flag operation and why would Russia need to use one?

Related news articles:

Heavy airstrikes overnight in Kyiv

Ukraine

A person walks his dog in front of a damaged residential building, after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine February 25, 2022.

Photo: Reuters/Umit Bektas

One of 13 killed on Ukrainian island live-streamed Russian attack

One of 13 Ukrainian soldiers killed in a Russian military attack was live-streaming just before losing their life.

The group of soldiers were all killed on Ukraine's Snake Island as Russia invaded the country on Thursday.

A radio communication from a Russian Navy warship warned the soldiers to surrender just before the island was shelled, prompting the defiant Ukrainians to respond by telling the Russians to "go f*** yourselves."

"This is a Russian military warship," the Russians said in a recording of the communication, according to a translation by The Daily Mail. "I suggest you lay down your weapons and surrender to avoid bloodshed and needless casualties. Otherwise, you will be bombed."

Ukrainian President Zelensky praised the guards' bravery, saying they would all be posthumously awarded war hero honours.

“On our island Zmiiny [Snake Island], defending it to the last, all the border guards died heroically. But did not give up,” he said.

All of them will be awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine posthumously. Eternal memory to those who gave their lives for Ukraine."

WORLD NEWS

What countries surround Russia and Ukraine? How are they involved in the conflict?

Russia and Ukraine both used to be part of the Soviet Union before its dissolution. They are the two largest countries in Europe, sharing a mutual land border stretching 1,300 miles.

Both share borders with NATO alliance members, some of which used to be in the Soviet sphere of influence. The alliance has voiced support for Ukraine and supplied the country with weapons in the face of Russian aggression. However, neither the US nor other members have said they will not get involved militarily.

Condemnation of the Russian invasion has been nearly universal but not all countries have spoken out yet, some have even offered their support. One ex-Soviet republic, Belarus, is standing by Russia even offering to send troops into Ukraine if needed.

Here’s a look at the countries that neighbor Russia and Ukraine and which side they support.

Air sirens sounding in Kyiv

Air sirens have begun to sound in Kyiv just moments ago a little after 7 am in Ukraine.

 

Ukrainian Foreign Minister condems Russian rocket attack on Kyiv

Horrific Russian rocket strikes on Kyiv. Last time our capital experienced anything like this was in 1941 when it was attacked by Nazi Germany. Ukraine defeated that evil and will defeat this one. Stop Putin. Isolate Russia. Severe all ties. Kick Russia out of everywhete.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba

World News

Ghost of Kyiv: unconfirmed Ukrainian MiG-29 pilot credited with six kills

The 'Ghost of Kyiv' is all over social media. Allegedly a Ukrainian MiG-29 pilot who downed six Russian jets in the first day of conflict, thus becoming an 'ace', in fighter pilot lingo. There's no confirmation that he or she exists so far, though Ukrainian military sources say they brought down seven Russian planes in total. 

Explosion over Kyiv

Kyiv is bracing for advancing Russian forces to decend on the city. Friday morning there was a large mid-air explosion. It is belived to be a fighter jet that was hit by a surface-to-air missile. But there is no confirmation as to whose plane it was, or whether it was a missile that was intercepted.

WORLD NEWS

SWIFT, the banking system Europe could use to sanction Russia over Ukraine

One of the sanctions Ukraine are asking for against Russia is that the country be barred from the SWIFT banking network. Processing over 30 million payments a day between over 11,000 entities in 212 counties, SWIFT underpins the financial payments system worldwide. 

Ukrainian report on Russian losses

Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Hanna Malyar informs:

Ordinary losses of the enemy as of 03:00 25.02.2022
Aircraft 7 units.
Helicopters 6 units.
Tanks - more than 30 disposals.
Armored vehicles - 130 units.

Casualties of the enemy's special forces are estimated at (to be specified) 800 men.

Traslation from DeepL

Who is the Ghost of Kyiv?

Social media is lighting up with reports of a Ukrainian "Ace" pilot who has reportedly shot down six Russian fighter jets, although no official report has been made and it cannot be confirmed.

Zelenskiy

President Zelensky says he will stay in Ukrainian capitol

Russian troops appear to be taking positions to move on Kyiv, the capitol of Ukraine, after taking control of the Chernobyl.nuclear power plant giving them a more direct route. Officials from the US and Ukraine say that Russia aims to take the city with the intention of decapitating the government to install a Moscow friendly regime.

Inspite of the threat of the Russian invaders surrounding Kyiv, on Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to stay in the capitol acknowledging he is "the number one target," in a video message.

Photo courtesy of Ukrainian presidential press secretary via Reuters

WORLD NEWS

What has President Biden said about Russia's invasion in Ukraine?

In the early hours of Thursday morning the Russian military launched a long-feared invasion of Ukraine, mounting an offensive by land, air and sea on its neighbour to the west.

Key positions like the capital of Kyiv and the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on the border with Belarus were targeted and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that 137 Ukrainians had died as a result of the Russian incursion.

The aggression shown by Russian President Vladimir Putin was widely decried by Western powers and President Joe Biden gave a White House address on Thursday afternoon outlining the United States’ position. 

Full details

Biden unveils new sanctions on Russia and wealthy oligarchs

President Biden is continuing to levy sanctions on Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine, which has seen a reported 137 Ukrainians killed in the first day of fighting. In a White House speech given this afternoon, Biden announced that he was broadening the economic sanction on President Putin in an effort to exert pressure on the Kremlin to stop the attack. So far Putin has ignored the threat of financial harm from the West but after a day in which the Russian ruble reached a record low against the US dollar, it remains to be seen how long he is able to maintain the offensive for. 

How many people have died so far in the Russia invasion of Ukraine?

The first day of the fully fledged Russian invasion of Ukriane has seen a lot of fighting and a significant amount of bloodshed. In a video address to the Ukrainian people this evening President Zelenskyy announced that 137 military personnel and civilians had died.

Russian had spent months gathering a huge military force on the Ukrianian border, with estimates putting the total troop number at around 180,000. Over the course of the day Russian forces have engaged in cambat on the ground with Ukrainian military personnel and launched bomb strikes onto several key targets, including the capital city of Kyiv. 

Ukrianian President gives video statement on Russian advance

Within the last half hour Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has published a video statement outlining the first day of fighting after Russian forces entered Ukraine early Thursday morning. Russian troops have made progress on some of their strategic aims but reports suggest that Ukrainian troops have managed to recapture a key airfield on the outskirts of Kyiv that had been taken by Russian earlier in the day. 

Zelenskyy said that Russia agents had arrived in the capital with the aim of sabotaging the Ukrainian political system: "According to our information, the enemy marked me as target No. 1, my family, as target No. 2. They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state. We have information that enemy sabotage groups have entered Kyiv."

He added: "I am staying in the government quarter together with others."

WATCH: CNN reporter recounts intense fighting at a Kyiv airport

Russian forces have made a significant amount of ground into Ukraine on the first day of full-scale invasion. This incredible report from CNN's Matthew Chance shows footage of Russian troops firing at apparent enemies as they looked to defend an airport on the outskirts of Kyiv that they had captured earlier that day. 

WORLD NEWS

Could Russia's attack on Ukraine lead to China invading Taiwan?

While the vast majority of Western powers have decried Russia's actions in Ukraine, China has not formally condemned invasion of Ukraine. Putin has attempted to align Russia closer to China in recent year and some analysts suggest that the silence in response to Russian aggression could be a warning sign over China’s intentions towards Taiwan

China “one China” policy dictates that Beijing claims Taiwan as part of a unified China, and it refuses to hold diplomatic ties with nations that recognize Taiwan’s autonomy. Could this be the precursor to an invasion of Taiwain in the not-so-distant future?

Read more

Ukraine authorities say 57 Ukrainian have died in first day of Russian invasion

Reports from Ukraine say that 57 Ukrainians have died during the first day of fighting. In the early hours of this morning Russian forces launched a coordinated attack on a series of major targets in Ukraine, including the capital city of Kyiv. Footage from Ukrainian on the ground has shown Russian aircrafts firing on civilian areas and troops seized the largely abandoned Chernobyl nuclear power plant this afternoon. 

UK Prime Minister calls Putin a "blood-stained aggressor"

In a hard-hitting speech in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has a tough assessment of President Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Johnson said he was "driven to conclude that Putin was always determined to attack his neighbour" as a result of Russia's actions in the past 24 hours. 

The United Kingdom, like the United States and other Western allies, has promised to issue the toughest economic sanctions on Putin's regime but will not be sending troops to actively fight on Ukrainian soil. 

Russia has engaged in targeted misinformation campaign, Biden says

"The Russian government has perpetrated cyber attacks against Ukraine. We saw staged political theatre in Moscow, outlandish and baseless claims that Ukraine was about to invade and launch a war against Russia.

"That Ukraine was prepared to use chemical weapons. That Ukraine committed a genocide. Without any evidence, we saw flagrant violation of international law in attempting to unilaterally create two new so called republics on sovereign Ukrainian territory.

"And at the very moment that the United Nations Security Council was meeting to stand up for Ukraine sovereignty to stave off invasion, Putin declared his war."

Joe Biden, POTUS

Congress considers further action against Russia and Putin

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has warned Russia that Congress is monitoring the situation in Eastern Europe and is ready to propose new measures if President Putin does not dial back the military operations in the region. 

The speed of the Russian offensive into Ukraine since the early hours of Thursday morning has shocked global spectators, even though moscow had spent months gathering a massive military presence on the Ukrainian border. In a White House speech this afternoon President Biden outlined the next tranche of economic sanctions against Russia and promised further deterrants were being worked on by officials. 

Biden outlines plan to hit Russia's economy

President Biden has repeatedly said that, unless Russia encroaches on NATO territory, American troops will not be deployed to fight in Eastern Europe. The United States along with its Western allies have instead moved forward with a range of financial sanctions designed to hit the Russian economy and prevent President Putin from waging a prolonged military offensive. 

However some in Ukraine feel that these measures do not go far enough and have criticised the failure to remove Russia from SWIFT, the global mechanism for overseas financial transactions. This would have a greater impact on the Russian economy but would also threaten trading practices of other nations. Western Europe is engaged in around $200 billion of trade with Russia every single year. 

Ukrainian foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said on Twitter: ‘Everyone who now doubts whether Russia should be banned from Swift has to understand that the blood of innocent Ukrainian men, women and children will be on their hands too. BAN RUSSIA FROM SWIFT.’

WATCH: Russia targets Chernobyl and key Ukrainian cities

This report from MSNBC shows latest stage of the Russian offensive into Ukraine as several key cities and the Chernobyl nuclear power plant are targeted. Early this morning Russian troops launched a huge attack on Ukraine which saw some civilian locations struck with artillery fire and airborn rockets. 

In a White House speech this afternoon, President Biden said of Putin: “He wants to, in fact, re-establish the former Soviet Union. That’s what this is about... And I think that his ambitions are completely contrary to the place where the rest of the world has arrived.”

Biden admits that sanctions will not be effective immediately

“No one expected the sanctions to prevent anything from happening. This could take time, and we have to show resolve so he knows what’s coming, and so the people of Russia know what he’s brought on them. That’s what this is all about."

“He’s going to test the resolve of the West to see if we stay together, and we will. We will, and it will impose significant costs on him.”

Joe Biden, POTUS

“When the history of this era is written, Putin’s choice to make a totally unjustifiable war on Ukraine will have left Russia weaker and the rest of the world stronger."

Joe Biden , POTUS

Russians protest against Ukraine invasion

In the early hours of Thursday morning President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, after months of denial from the Kremlin regarding the troop build-up in the region. On Tuesday Russia's parliament had granted Putin permission to utilise the nation's vast military capability in Ukraine. 

However in recent hours Russians have taken to the streets in the capital of Moscow to protest against Russia's actions in Ukraine. As this video shows, they are doing so at a considerable personal risk and in the face of severe police oppression. 

WORLD NEWS

Why does Putin want Chernobyl? Russia captures nuclear power plant in Ukraine

In the last few hours it has emerged that Russian military forced have successfully captured the Chernobyl nuclear power plant (NPP) on Ukraine's northern border with Belarus. Initial reports do not make clear exactly why President Putin has chosen to capture the largely abandoned site of the largest nuclear accident in human history. 

However it has been suggested that it stands on the direct path from Russia-friendly Belarus and the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, and that it could hold strategic value to Putin if he attempts to capture the city. 

Read more

Russia captures Chernobyl nuclear power plant

Confirmation from Ukrainian authorities that Russian military forces have captured the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, site of the 1986 disaster considered the worst nuclear accident in human history. The exact purpose of the attack is still, as yet, unknown.

However there has been some suggestion from Western commentators that Chernobyl carries strategic importance to Moscow, as it occupies territory on the most direct route between Ukraine's eastern border and the capital of Kyiv. This interpretation would suggest that Putin's ambitions in Ukraine go far beyond the Donbas region. 

Biden answers questions from the press on Russian invasion

“Our forces are not, and will not be, engaged in the conflict with Russia in Ukraine... Our forces are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine, but to defend our Nato allies and reassure those allies in the east.”

"This aggression cannot go unanswered. If it did, the consequences for America would be much worse. America stands up to bullies. We stand up for freedom. This is who we are."

President Biden, White House press conference

UKRAINE vs RUSSIA WAR

President Joe Biden White House speech addressing Russia's invasion of Ukraine

You can watch President Biden answer questions from the world's press on the Russian invasion of Ukraine now. Biden outlined a number of economic sanctions during his speech but stopped short of banning Russia from the SWIFT global banking system. 

Watch President Biden's speech live

Biden promises tough economic sanctions for Russia

President Biden is speaking of the importance of Western unity in the face of Russian aggression, and assured global onlookers that the US and its allies will bring a swift response against President Putin. The threat of economic sanctions should hit the Russian economy hard but it remains to be seen if it will be enough to dissuade Putin from an objective that he has repeatedly held for decades. 

Biden confirms that US troops will not be deployed to Ukraine

"Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war, and now he and his country will bear the consequences."

President Joe Biden, Remarks on the Russian invasion of Ukraine

President Joe Biden gives White House speech addressing Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Russia has seized Chernobyl nuclear power plant

The Russian offensive into Ukrainian territory continues as reports from Ukraine suggest that the Chernobyl nuclear power plant has been captured by Russian forces. The plant is the site of the 1986 tragedy which is the more severe nuclear accident in human history. The exact purpose of the capture of this largely vacant area is not yet clear, but it marks another stage of the invasion of Ukraine and one that is sure to grab the world's attention. 

When is the Biden speech on Ukraine?

This afternoon President Biden is scheduled to give a speech from the White House on the ongoing situation in Eastern Europe. Russian forces entered the Donbas region overnight and have launched attacks on several major targets, including the capital of Kyiv and the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. 

Biden's speech is scheduled for 1:30pm ET, however given the highly volatile nature of the situation there is no guarantee as to when he will start. He was around one hour late for a similar White House address on Ukraine earlier this week. 

WATCH: Incredible footage shows Russian tanks gather at Chernobyl nuclear power plant

In recent hours reports have emerged claiming that the Russian military has launched an offensive to capture the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, site of the eponymous 1986 accident. As is shown on the footage from MSNBC tanks have been filmed gathering at the site and Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has tweeted to confirm that the site is under attack. Separate reports from Belarusian officials in the last 30 minutes have claimed that Russian forces have taken Ukrainian workers hostage at Chernobyl. 

Russian troops reportedly take Chernobyl after fighting

This afternoon reports emerged that Russian troops were attempting to seize control of Chernobyl, the Cold War-era nuclear power plant which was the site of the worst ever nuclear accident in 1986. The site is on Ukrainian territory and reports on Twitter suggest that Russia has now captured the area and has taken a number of Ukrainian personnel hostage. 

The tweet comes from Franak Viačorka, Senior Advisor to Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, a human rights activist who ran in the 2020 Belarusian presidential election as the main candidate in opposition to the Russia-backed incumbent. Belarus was one of the sites where Russia had amassed troops in the build up to the invasion and President Alexander Lukashenko is known to have a very close relationship with President Putin. 

What are the new sanctions against Russia from the UK?

The new sanctions include:

- all major Russian banks will face a full UK asset freeze,

- asset freezes extended to around 100 more people,

- Aeroflot airline banned from the UK,

- increased export controls for items that could be used in a military capacity.

New sanctions announced by the UK against Russia

UK Prime Minister has been speaking to the House of Commons concerning enhanced sanctions for the Russian government.

We will bring you these sanctions shortly.

WORLD NEWS

Is Ukraine a democracy?

Support for Ukraine has been a call to defend democracy from authoritarian aggression. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the attack, 'a war against Ukraine, against the whole democratic world.'

Ukraine has been making major steps toward being a fully democratic country in recent years, especially since 2014. But it is not fully there yet, and the invasion will being a huge block in achieving this aim.

Read more

Curfew announced for Kiev

Despite the arming of the Ukrainian population in preparation for defence, the Mayor of Kiev, Vitaly Klitschko has declared a curfew in the capital.

The curfew will last from 22:00 to 7:00 local time. As of this post, that means there is three hours until the curfew kicks in.

The state of the war on the ground is difficult to ascertain at this early stage. The frontlines have not yet solidified.

Where will Ukrainian refugees go?

More than 4,000 people, mostly women and children, have so far fled across the border from Ukraine into Moldova. 

Poland, Romania and Hungary are also expecting an influx of refugees. They all border ukraine and have begun to set up processing facilities on the border.

Fighting over nuclear containment facility at Chernobyl

Ukraine's President Volodimir Zelensky tweeted that the nuclear containment facility at Chernobyl was under assault from Russian forces.

'This is a declaration of war against all of Europe,' he said.

Russian ambassador speaks about invasion

Unfortunately, our Western friends do not respect international law, trying to destroy it and promote what they call 'rules-based order'.

Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister

We had intensive and detailed discussions with our American colleagues, with other Nato members. We hope that there is still a chance to return to international law and international obligations.

Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister

WORLD NEWS

Did Russia declare war on Ukraine? Where are the explosions in Ukraine?

After months of build up, Russia has taken the dangerous step of invading Ukraine. Tensions have been rising since 2021 and this new escalation could prove to be one of the most dangerous situations in European foreign policy since the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s.

Read more

Airborne attack on key airport show intense battleground

The clip shows Russian airborne troops advancing on the Antonov airport near Kiev. It has been reported that the airport has been captured by the Russians, but that Ukrainian troops are fighting to take it back.

Airport outside Kiev captured by Russian airborne troops

Outisde the centre of Kiev at the Antonov airport Russian airborne forces have captured the airbase. Borne in helicopters, the soldiers captured a bridge and the airport, according to the CNN reporter.

Speaking to the soldiers, the leader of the group said the airport is secure, after they had battled Ukrainian troops.

WORLD NEWS

What is the origin of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine? What is Putin's end goal?

For the past week, there had been daily reports, citing US intelligence sources, that Russian President Vladimir Putin had already decided on a date to commence an invasion of Ukraine. The offensive began before dawn on Thursday while the majority of the country, or at least those who haven't fled, were tucked up in their beds, fast asleep.

Read more

We condemn in the strongest possible terms Russia’s horrifying attack on Ukraine, which is entirely unjustified and unprovoked. Our thoughts are with all those killed and injured, and with the people of Ukraine. We also condemn Belarus for enabling this attack.

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.

NATO statement , on Russian invasion

NATO statement on Ukraine situation

NATO has published a statement condemning the condemning the Russian invasion.

BBC verified footage shows bombing in eastern Ukraine

Journalists on the ground are providing eyewitness reports of the Russian invasion, but no solid footage of large scale battles is yet to surface.

There has been some worry amongst western officials that the Ukrainian army is not fully mobilized, menaing key military units are not at full fighting strength to repel an attack.

Lithuania declares state of emergency

Gitanas Nausėda, president of Lithuania,  says he will send the army to defend its borders in response to "possible disturbances and provocations due to large military forces massed in Russia and Belarus".

British prime Minister gives statement on Russian invasion

A vast invasion is under way by land by air and by sea. This is not some faraway country of which we know little... We cannot allow that freedom to be snuffed out. We cannot and will not look away.

Boris Johnson, British prime Minister

CNN journalists show Russian armour approaching Ukraine

NATO's chief is calling on Russia to immediately cease military action, withdraw its forces from Ukraine.

Jens Stoltenberg annoucned NATO will be sending its forces to defend the eastern borders of member states.

WORLD NEWS

Russian and Ukrainian crisis: which countries support each side? USA, China, North Korea...

Both Ukraine and Russia are supported by their traditional allies, at least traditional in what can be considered the Realpolitik of the 21st century.

However, the west has sop far refused to send troops to Ukraine in what would mark another serious escalation.

Read more

Images sent to CNN by Ukrainian President office this morning

Shared by the CNN international correspondent, the image shows a huge explosion in Kiev, perhaps one of the first from this morning.

Bombing has been reported in many major cities as the Russian invasion began.

Ukraine reacts to Russian invasion

In response, the Ukrainian government has declared martial law and called up military reservists between 18-60 years old.

In an unusual and desperate move, the President of Ukraine has announced that anyone who wants a weapon will be distributed one by the Ukrainian government.

It has also cut diplomatic ties with Russia.

UK prime Minister Boris Johnson to make address this morning

The Russian invasion of Ukraine "is a catastrophe for our continent", Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tweeted.

We will bring his full comments to you when we have it.

Where have the attacks into Ukraine come from?

In a worst-case scenario, Russian troops have been reported to be advancing into Ukraine in a multi-pronged attack.

Troops are coming from the Crimean in the south, Russian proper in the east, as well as southbound from Belarus.

The Belarusian government has denied it is involved in the invasion.

Reports of Russian tanks in eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkhiv

Ukrainian officials have confirmed that Russian armoured vehicles are already inside eastern Ukraine and approaching the city of Kharkiv, the BBC reports.

WORLD NEWS

Where are the breakaway regions of Ukraine? Ukrainian separatist map

The two Ukrainian areas that are at the centre of the conflictt are found in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. On Tuesday Duma, the Russian parliament, voted not only to recognise the breakaway regions but also to allow Putin to use Russia’s vast military for ‘peace-keeping’ missions there.

Read more

European stocks plunge on news of war

Reuters - European stocks plunged 3% on Thursday as investors dumped riskier assets after Russia attacked Ukraine, raising fears that a war in Europe will fuel higher inflation and derail economic growth.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 2.9% - hitting its lowest since May 2021 while marking a correction or 10% decline from its January record high.

The German DAX fell 3.7% to March 2021 lows, bearing the biggest brunt of the sell-off on fears over the country's heavy reliance on energy supplies from Russia.

A surge in oil prices helped limit losses on the UK's commodity-heavy FTSE 100, which fell 2.4%.

Russian forces fired missiles at several cities in Ukraine and landed troops on its south coast on Thursday, officials and media said, after President Vladimir Putin authorised what he called a special military operation.

The United States and its allies will impose "severe sanctions" on Russia, U.S. President Joe Biden said.

Europe's oil & gas index fell the least among sectors, down 1.2% as oil prices surged about 6%, pushing Brent crude past $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014.

European banks most exposed to Russia including Austria's Raiffeisen Bank, UniCredit and Societe Generale dropped between 5% and 6.6%, while the wider banking index fell 4.2%.

Technology and travel & leisure were among the other top decliners.

Futures tracking New York's S&P 500 fell 2.0% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 dropped 2.6%.

Ukraine suspends civilian flights after attack

Air traffic services have been closed in Ukraine as the country comes under attack.

It suspended all flights "due to the high risk of aviation safety for civil aviation".

Ryanair says it has cancelled all flights to and from Ukraine for at least the next 14 days.

US, G7 allies to hold Russia accountable - Biden

The US president said Washington would also coordinate with NATO allies "to ensure a strong, united response that deters any aggression against the alliance."

Biden, who served as America's vice president and was deeply engaged in 2014 when Russia annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine, will be joined for the G7 call in the White House Situation Room by Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

WORLD NEWS

Which companies could be affected by the Russia - Ukraine crisis?

With the announcement that Russia was recognising the independence of two Ukrainian provinves, Donetsk and Luhansk, NATO and the EU announced a swathe of sanctions aimed at curtailing the financial power of the Russian government. Businesses, football clubs, and individuals will be affected by the limitations.

These will be the first businesses to be directly impacted, but further escalation like that seen on Thursday will lead to a greater economic fallout that will affect much more than regional businesses; another global economic meltdown could be likely as the supply chain is disrupted further after two years of financial misery.

Read more

World reaction to Russian invasion

With this [sanction] package, we will target strategic sectors of the Russian economy by blocking their access to key technologies and markets. We will weaken Russia's economic base and its capacity to modernise.

In addition, we will freeze Russian assets in the EU and stop the access of Russian banks to the European financial market. Like with the first package of sanctions, we are closely aligned with partners and allies. These sanctions are designed to take a heavy toll on the Kremlin's interests and on their ability to finance the war.

Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission Chief

This has long been planned by Vladimir Putin. This is an invasion and it is completely unprovoked and unjustified.

James Cleverley, UK Junior Foreign Minister

We have a land war in Europe that we thought was only to find in history books. It is a flagrant breach of international law.

Robert Habeck , German economy minister

We are working with European and Nato allies to respond immediately, with unity and determination.

Mario Draghi , Italian Prime Minister
kiev

Explosions heard across the country

People, some carrying bags and suitcases, walk at a metro station in Kyiv early on February 24, 2022.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation in Ukraine on Thursday with explosions heard soon after across the country and its foreign minister warning a 'full-scale invasion' was underway.

(Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP)

People dead and missing in first attacks on Ukraine

Vladimir Putin announced the military operation into Ukraine at 5.55am Moscow time and minutes later the first shelling and missiles were launched into Ukraine.

Seven people have died in bombing by Russian forces, according to Ukrainian police. Nineteen people are also missing.

There are Ukrainian reports of Russian jets being shot down, which Moscow denies.

World News

Russian bombing: huge explosion in Ukraine captured

Russian forces attacked Ukraine this morning with a military assault, bombing military camps in the big cities, and several people caught it on camera.

Welcome to the AS USA Russia-Ukraine live feed

Thursday 24 February is a significant day in global politics as Russian troops began their campaign in eastern Ukraine, after President Putin announced the invasion early this morning. 

The move has drawn international condemnation and further sanctions are being prepared after the ones announced in recent days.. 

We'll bring you all the latest from Ukraine.

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