BREAKING: Russia declares war on Ukraine, launches full-scale invasion of country

According to the latest reports, Russia began their invasion of Ukraine Thursday, with cities bombarded from the air and forces fighting on the ground.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country was under attack “from the south, north, east and from the air,” while Kyiv said the offensive had already killed dozens of soldiers and several civilians. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the military action after weeks of tense buildup.

Russian forces continue “to act aggressively along the entire line of the common border,” the Ukrainian military reported on Thursday morning.

The Ukrainian government reported conflicts across the region involving tanks and “columns of enemy armored vehicles.” The post said the military was fighting with 20 Russian helicopters for control of an airfield in the city of Hostomel, on the outskirts of Kyiv. The government also reported that a Russian cruiser, “Moscow,” had started shelling Zmiinyi Island.

As Russian forces launched what Ukrainian officials described as a “full-scale attack” on their homeland Thursday, footage captured on the ground showed helicopters swooping over cities. Meanwhile, tanks and other military vehicles rolled out onto streets.

In one video verified by NBC News, helicopters could be seen flying toward Antonov Airport in Hostomel, near Kyiv, as heavy smoke swirled on the horizon. In another video, shot from nearby Vyshhorod, helicopters appear to drop flares as they travel over water and then inland.

A senior defense official, as part of operational update in the situation in Ukraine, told NBC News that the initial phase of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began around 9:30 p.m. ET, with sea- and land-based missile launches.

More than 100 Russian missiles launched from the Black Sea – were fired in the initial salvo, the official said. Targets have so far been military and air defenses, barracks, ammunition depots, and 10 airfields, the official said, adding that there is no clear understanding of the level of casualties on either side.

The ground incursion began around 5:00 a.m ET from Belarus, moving northwest to Kyiv. Russian troops parachuted into Kharkiv around the same time [NBC News].

Russian forces entering Ukraine from Belarus have taken control of Chernobyl, the decommissioned nuclear power plant, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Energy has claimed.

Demchenkov Yaroslav said that the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate informed him that the Chernobyl, including all installations and repositories, “is fully controlled” by Russian forces.

The plant was the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident when a nuclear reactor exploded in April 1986, spewing radioactive waste across Europe [FOX].

This afternoon President Biden is scheduled to give a speech from the White House on the ongoing situation in Eastern Europe.



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