The Ukrainian Armed Forces have shelled the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) 177 times within the past 24 hours, a spokesperson for the LPR mission to the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) of the ceasefire regime in Donbas told reporters on Friday.
“The Ukrainian armed forces have shelled 26 settlements of the republic 177 times,” the spokesperson said.
‘Full-scale invasion of Ukraine underway’ – Kiev
The country’s top diplomat has called on the international community for support
War has broken out between Russia and Ukraine, Kiev’s foreign minister has declared, after a series of explosions were reported across the country moments after Moscow issued an order for a “special operation” in the breakaway Donbass region.
In a statement issued early on Thursday morning, Dmitry Kuleba said that Russian President Vladimir Putin “has just launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.”
“Peaceful Ukrainian cities are under strikes,” he added, with claims coming in of explosions near the capital, Kiev. “This is a war of aggression. Ukraine will defend itself and will win,” he insisted. “The world can and must stop Putin. The time to act is now.”
‘Explosions’ reported across Ukraine as Russia orders ‘special operation’ in Donbass
Sounds resembling explosions have been reported in several Ukraine cities after Moscow launched special operation in Donbass
NATO condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the strongest terms. We call on Russia to immediately seize its military action & withdraw from Ukraine: NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg
NATO stands in solidarity with Ukraine. NATO allies are imposing severe costs on Russia for their reckless invasion of Ukraine. NATO allies in close coordination with EU & other partners all over the world are now imposing severe economic sanctions on Russia: NATO Secy-Gen
NATO allies have also, over a long period of time, provided practical support, military support to Ukraine & helped them to build a much stronger, better equipped & better-trained force today than Ukraine had in 2014: NATO Secretary-Gen Jens Stoltenberg
Russia’s military says it has knocked out Ukraine’s air defense assets and airbases.
Videos show Russian cruise missile reportedly striking airfield in Ivano-Frankivsk in Western Ukraine.
Russian civilian ships attacked by Ukraine – Moscow
Two cargo vessels came under fire in the Sea of Azov, the FSB said
The Ukrainian military has damaged two civilian ships in the Sea of Azov using missiles, the Russian security service, the FSB, said on Thursday. The attack reportedly injured one person and caused a fire on board one of the ships.
Explosions Reported in Odessa, Ukraine
Explosion Reportedly Heard in Kiev, Kramatorsk, Odess, Kharkhov, Berdyansk & Near Boryspil Airport
Citing the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, CNN reported that the explosions near Kiev were missile strikes.
Air raid sirens going off all over Ukraine. The Ukrainian navy has been wiped out. Belarus and Russian forces are now attacking across the Belarusian border with Ukraine. Russia is crippling Ukrainian air defense and defensive infrastructure.
Some Ukranian armed forces on the ground are standing down, surrendering, or even defecting when they see Russian troops.
Speaking from a rooftop in central Kiev, reporter Mathew Chance said he heard “four or five explosions” erupt in the city, though stated “I can’t explain what they are.” The report came moments after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation on behalf of the newly recognized breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, where a military conflict has raged between separatist forces and the Ukrainian government for years.
Putin announces ‘special operation’ in Donbass
The special military operation will be aimed at “defending” people living in the newly-recognized republics of Donetsk and Lugansk
Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced he ordered his country’s military to conduct a special operation in the Donbass region after the leaders of the breakaway republics asked Moscow for military assistance in response to what they claim is an increase in “Ukrainian aggression.”
“Circumstances require us to take decisive and immediate action,” the order reads. “The People’s Republics of Donbass turned to Russia with a request for help. In this regard, in accordance with Article 51, part 7 of the UN Charter, with the sanction of the Federation Council and in pursuance of the friendship treaties ratified by the Federal Assembly and mutual assistance with the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, I have decided to conduct a special military operation,” Putin concludes.
Russia reveals strike targets in Ukraine
Ukrainian military facilities are being hit by Russian precision weapons, the defense ministry said
The Russian Defense Ministry stated that the Russian military is attacking Ukrainian military facilities as part of an ongoing operation in Ukraine. Precision weapons are used against military infrastructure, air defense sites, military airfields and aircraft, a statement cited by RIA Novosti said.
The military said that Russia was not attacking Ukrainian cities, contrary to claims that say otherwise. Ukrainian civilians are not under threat, the statement said.
Lithuania to declare state of emergency
The parliament will later pass the measure in special session
The president of Lithuania has issued a decree to declare a state of emergency in the Baltic nation as Russia carries out an attack in Ukraine.
Speaking on Thursday, Gitanas Nauseda revealed what measures Vilnius will take to protect itself against any potential aggression from Moscow.
“Today, I have signed a decree on introducing the state of emergency, which will be passed by the parliament in an extraordinary session,” he said.
“We are talking about Lithuania’s external security and we are obliged to do everything we can to guarantee it without the slightest doubts,” Nauseda insisted.
Biden says Russia has declared a “premeditated war” that will cause a “catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,”
In a statement published late on Wednesday evening, Biden called for the world to hold Moscow accountable for “the death and destruction”
“The prayers of the world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by the Russian military forces,” Biden said.
Ukrainian Parliament Approves Nationwide State of Emergency
The Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, has approved declaring a state of emergency all around the country for 30 days except for the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk regions starting from 22:00 GMT, February 23.
The decision was supported by 335 lawmakers, with the required minimum of 226 votes.
US, NATO, UN respond to Russian operation in Donbass
The international community has condemned Moscow after the Russian president announced a special operation in newly-recognized Donbass
Representatives of the United States, NATO, the UN, as well as several western states have decried Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a “special military operation” in the Donbass region.
After President Putin responded to military assistance requests from the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) People’s Republics in the Donbass by launching a “special military operation” in the region early on Thursday, US President Joe Biden said he would hold Russia “responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring.”
“The United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable,” President Biden said in a statement, adding that he would be “praying for the brave and proud people of Ukraine.”
Moldova closes airspace over Ukraine situation
The decision follows an emergency meeting by the country’s supreme security council
Moldova has closed its airspace amid Russia’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine, the country’s deputy prime minister Andrey Spinu announced on social media.
The decision was made on Thursday “taking into account the situation in the region” and follows a recommendation by the country’s supreme security council, Spinu said.
“The Civil Aviation Authority will execute the recommendation, the airspace will be closed from 12:00. Flights will be directed towards other airports,” he said.
Belarus partially closes airspace
The Ministry of Defense announced a wide-ranging closure to civilian airspace amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
The Belarusian Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday the closure of parts of its airspace to civil aircraft after Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine in support of the Donbass breakaway republics in Eastern Ukraine.
Ukrainian airspace shuts down to civilian aircraft – notice to airmen
A newly-issued alert says flights are restricted “due to potential hazard for civil aviation’
Airspace all over Ukraine has been restricted for civil flights, according to a notice to airmen (NOTAM) distributed by government agencies and airport operators. The de-facto closure of the airspace went into effect at 01:56 local time on Thursday and is set to last till 23:59 the same day.
The notice cited “potential hazard for civil aviation” as the reason behind the alert.
Ukraine asks for emergency UN meeting over Donbass
Kiev has made the request in response to newly-recognized Donetsk and Lugansk republics asking for Russian military assistance
Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics requesting military aid from Russia is “a further escalation of the security situation,” Ukraine has said, requesting an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the matter.
Ukrainian president Zelensky says Putin won’t answer his phone call
Volodymyr Zelensky claims he tried to reach Vladimir Putin over Donbass, but was met with silence
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed to Russian citizens against a war in Donbass in a televised speech shortly after midnight on Thursday. Zelensky claimed he had tried calling Russian President Vladimir Putin but received no response.
“Today I initiated a call with the president of the Russian Federation. The result was silence. But silence ought to be in the Donbass,” Zelensky said.
UK could ban RT to keep ‘one narrative’ – former British ambassador
Former officials have blasted the UK government and questioned the independence of media watchdog Ofcom over threats to ban the channel
Former British diplomat Peter Ford and former London Mayor Ken Livingstone have defended news channel RT after the UK government suggested it should be banned over alleged “disinformation,” while media watchdog Ofcom said it won’t tolerate “one-sided propaganda.”
Latvian President Calls for Ban on Russian TV Channels’ Rebroadcasts in Country
Latvian President Egils Levits said rebroadcasting of Russian TV channels in Latvia should be banned.
“Incitement of hatred towards Ukraine and disinformation are unacceptable in the Latvian information space. I call to stop the broadcasting of Russian propaganda channels,” Levits wrote on Twitter. Earlier, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics made the same call.
All major Russian federal TV channels are rebroadcast in Latvia. They are traditionally within the top most popular channels in the country.
Crew of Russian TV Channel Zvezda Come Under Fire in Donetsk Suburb
‘Massive cyberattack’ underway, Ukraine reports
Kiev says financial institutions and government departments have been taken down
Government websites and banks in Ukraine have been hit by outages as part of a reported cyberattack against the country’s digital infrastructure, with officials in Kiev saying it is a major attempt by hackers to take down online platforms.
EU Sanctions Against Russian Officials Go Into Force
The European Union has approved sanctions against Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s Defense Minister, Maria Zakharova, director of the foreign ministry’s Information and Press Department, and Sputnik and RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan, as well as 555 individuals and 52 entities.
The EU claims that Shoigu, “is responsible for actively supporting actions and implementing policies that undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.”
The European Union Council issued the sanctions in response, “to the decision by the Russian Federation to proceed with the recognition of the non-government controlled areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts of Ukraine as independent entities, and the subsequent decision to send Russian troops into these areas.”.. Read More
Ukraine crisis sends global markets plummeting
Stocks across Europe, Asia and the US see sharp selloff as military conflict intensifies
Stock markets across the world sold off sharply on Thursday after the Russian Armed Forces confirmed the first airstrikes against military targets in Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin ordered the operation in the Donbass region to protect the local population against Ukrainian shelling attacks, days after recognizing the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell by 2.31% in early trade, with the financial sector leading the losses, sending major bourses sliding into bear territory.
Biden unveils Nord Stream 2 pipeline sanctions
Washington will sanction the parent company behind the pipeline and its top executives
The US will impose sanctions on the operator of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and target its top executives with personal restrictions, President Joe Biden said in a statement on Wednesday.
“I have directed my administration to impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG and its corporate officers. These steps are another piece of our initial tranche of sanctions in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine,” he said.
Washington “will not hesitate” to take further action against Russia should it continue “to escalate” the situation, Biden warned. The ongoing developments have “provided the world with an overwhelming incentive to move away from Russian gas and to other forms of energy,” he claimed, without specifying said energy
Moscow reacts to US sanctions
Russia’s foreign ministry has vowed to respond in a “strong, not necessarily symmetrical” manner
Russia’s foreign ministry warned in a statement on Wednesday that there will be “a strong response” to new US sanctions. President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that Washington would impose punitive measures on Russia for its formal recognition of two breakaway Ukrainian regions as independent nations.
“There shouldn’t be any doubt – there will be a strong response, not necessarily symmetrical, but a calculated one whose impact the US will feel,” Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned.
White House comments on chance of war with Russia
“That is not a decision the president is going to make. We are not going to be in a war with Russia or putting military troops on the ground fighting Russia,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday.
US sanctions Russian football club
Pope intervenes over Ukraine
Putin has chilling message for Ukraine
Russia-Ukraine crisis threatens global food supply
The potential of armed conflict between crop heavyweights has raised fears of a price surge
Escalating tensions between major global food suppliers Russia and Ukraine are likely to force wheat, corn, and sunflower oil buyers to seek alternative shipments, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing analysts and traders. The disruption could drive up world food prices which are already near multi-year highs, experts warn.
The two countries reportedly account for around 29% of global wheat exports, 19% of world corn supplies, and 80% of world sunflower oil exports. Traders are worried that any military engagement could impact crop movement and could force importers to replace supplies from the region.
“Disruptions in supplies from the Black Sea region will impact overall global availability,” Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank, told Reuters. “Buyers in the Middle East and Africa will be seeking alternative sources.”
Refinitiv shipping data showed that around 70% of Russia’s wheat exports went to buyers in the Middle East and Africa in 2021.
Traders say some buyers have already diverted vessels to other suppliers over concerns that any outbreak of war would lead to lengthy loading delays.
“Ships are avoiding entering the Black Sea because of the war risk,” a Singapore-based trader said, adding that “Supply disruptions are already taking place.”
Analysts warned that a lack of supplies from the Black Sea region could lift demand for the bread ingredient from the United States and Canada.
World food prices have been hovering at their highest level in a decade, led by strong demand for wheat and dairy products.
On Tuesday, Chicago wheat futures surged more than 2%, and corn hit a seven-month high, with soybeans also on the rise. All three key food and feed ingredients have rallied around 40% from 2021 lows, lifted by declining production and robust demand.
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