Ukraine warning on ‘major war in Europe’, rebels seek Russia support: 10 facts | World News - Hindustan Times

Russia attacks Ukraine, 'precision' weapons target military bases: 10 updates

Feb 24, 2022 06:16 AM IST

Ukraine-Russia crisis: Ukrainian President, in an emotional address, has said that his country "is not a threat to Russia". 

In a surprise move, Russia's Vladimir Putin on Thursday announced a military operation in Ukraine on Thursday. "I have made the decision of a military operation," he said in a televised address, news agency AFP reported. With Ukraine on edge in the midst of invasion fears, Kremlin earlier said that rebel leaders sought support against what was described as "aggression from the Ukrainian Armed Forces". Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, meanwhile, stressed that he tried to reach out to Putin, warning that Kremlin could “start a major war in Europe".

General view of Kyiv after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a military operation in eastern Ukraine, February 24, 2022. REUTERS/Umit Bektas(REUTERS)
General view of Kyiv after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a military operation in eastern Ukraine, February 24, 2022. REUTERS/Umit Bektas(REUTERS)

Here are ten latest developments on the Russia-Ukraine crisis:

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1. Russia's Putin has said the “responsibility of any bloodshed will be on the conscience of Ukrainian regime." "Our plans (of special military operation) in Ukraine do not include occupying Ukrainian territory. We will aim at demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine," he was quoted as saying in reports.  Military command centres in the capital city of Kyiv and another city, Kharkiv, have been attacked by missile strikes, Reuters reported, citing local media.  Precision weapons were used in attacks, reports said. 

2. As Ukraine said Russia has launched “full invasion”, US President Joe Biden warned of "catastrophic loss of life". “I'll be monitoring the situation from White House this evening and get regular updates from my national security team. Tomorrow, I'll meet with my G7 counterparts in the morning... We'll coordinate with our NATO allies,” Biden added.  

3. Russia and Ukraine representatives sparred at the United Nations with Kremlin insisting the latest move was to “protect people”. “Russian President on record declared war...It's the responsibility of this body to stop this war,” the Kyiv representative said at the second UN emergency meeting this week. 

4. On rebel leaders' request for Russia support, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, "Kiev is continuing its military buildup along the line of disengagement" and "republics are experiencing the destruction of civil and industrial infrastructure, schools, hospitals, and kindergartens". Blasts were heard early on Thursday in the separatist-held eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk.

5. Ukrainian President, in an emotional address, said that his country "is not a threat to Russia". Hours after the declaration of the national emergency on Wednesday, he underlined, "The people of Ukraine and the government of Ukraine want peace. But if the nation comes under an attack, we will fight back.” "There was no answer, only silence", Zelensky said on his attempts to reaching out to Putin in his appeal to stop a "major war in Europe".

6. In growing support at the United Nations, countries - including China that has usually backed Russia - spoke for Ukraine's sovereignty. UN chief has asked for Russia to stop its troops from attacking Ukraine.

7. Cyberattacks reportedly continue in Ukraine as the number of Russian troops swell at the borders. Cybersecurity firm ESET's researchers were quoted as saying by news agency Reuters that hundreds of computers were hit across the country with malware.

7. The European Union has announced sanctions against Russia defence minister Sergei Shoigu and military chiefs, news agency AFP reported. Asset freezes and visa bans are among the sanctions introduced on the commanders of Russia's army, navy and air force by the 27-nation bloc.

8. The US has accused Russia and China of trying to create a profoundly "illiberal world order". "We think that Russia and the PRC also want a world order. But this is an order that is and would be profoundly illiberal, an order that stands in contrast to the system that countries around the world ... have built in the last seven decades. It is an order that is in many ways destructive, rather than additive," US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.

9. Tensions escalated earlier this week as Russia recognised the rebel regions as independent in a violation of 2015 peace plan - a move that also allowed Kremlin to move troops in Ukraine . What followed was a series of sanctions by nations across the world on Russia and global condemnation. Ukraine on Wednesday announced a 30-day emergency. Kremlin has been repeating that it does not plan to invade Ukraine. 

(With inputs from Reuters, PTI, AFP, AP)

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