The Ukrainian army retaliated and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address that 137 people, military and civilians, had been killed and hundreds more injured.
Ukraine is one of the largest countries in Europe. Here is a breakdown of the impact:
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Ukraine is about the size of Texas with a population of over 44 million.
The invasion began early Thursday with a series of missile strikes, many on key government and military installations, quickly followed by a three-pronged ground assault.
Ukrainian and US officials said Russian forces were attacking from the east towards Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city; the southern region of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014; and Belarus to the north.
Fearing a Russian attack on the capital, thousands of people went deep into hiding as night fell, blocking Kiev’s metro stations.
Kiev has nearly 3 million inhabitants. The map below shows where the troops are currently stationed.
“Nobody believed that this war was going to start and that they would take Kiev directly,” said Anton Mironov, waiting for nightfall in one of the former Soviet metro stations. “I mostly feel tired. None of this feels real.”
Zelenskyy, who had previously severed diplomatic ties with Moscow and declared martial law, appealed to world leaders, saying “if you don’t help us now, if you fail to offer strong help to Ukraine , tomorrow war will knock at your door”. carries.”
Although President Joe Biden has said he has no intention of speaking with Putin, the Russian leader had what the Kremlin described as a “serious and candid exchange” with French President Emmanuel Macron.
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Both sides claimed to have destroyed some of the other’s aircraft and military equipment, although little could be confirmed.
Hours into the invasion, Russian forces took control of the now unused Chernobyl power plant and its surrounding exclusion zone after a fierce battle, presidential adviser Myhailo Podolyak told The Associated Press.
The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency said it had been notified by Ukraine of the takeover, adding that there had been “no casualties or destruction at the industrial site”.
NATO alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg said the ‘brutal act of war’ had shattered peace in Europe, joining a chorus of world leaders denouncing an attack that could cause mass casualties and overthrow the democratically elected government of Ukraine. The conflict rocked global financial markets: stocks plunged and oil prices soared on fears that heating bills and food prices could soar.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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