Russia-Ukraine crisis LIVE Updates: Putin begins military operation in Ukraine; explosions heard in multiples places including Kyiv

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09:48 (IST)

Russia-Ukraine crisis LATEST Updates

Joe Biden says 'world will hold Russia accountable' over Ukraine attack

US President Joe Biden on Wednesday said the "world will hold Russia accountable" over its attack against Ukraine that he warned will cause "catastrophic loss of life", reports AFP.

In a statement issued shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of military operations in Ukraine, Biden said he would address the US public Thursday to outline the "consequences" for Russia, calling the attack "unprovoked and unjustified."

The US president was due to join a virtual, closed-doors meeting of G7 leaders -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States -- at 9:00 am (1400 GMT) Thursday. The White House said his remarks to the public would come in early afternoon in Washington.

09:44 (IST)

Russia-Ukraine crisis LATEST Updates

Hong Kong stocks drop more than three percent on Ukraine crisis

Hong Kong stocks sank in Thursday morning trade as fears grew of a full-scale war in eastern Europe after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a 'military operation' in Ukraine, reports AFP.

The Hang Seng Index fell 3.16 percent, or 747.33 points, to 22,912.95.

09:40 (IST)

Russia-Ukraine crisis LATEST Updates

India calls for immediate de-escalation of tensions between Russia and Ukraine

India called for an immediate de-escalation of tensions between Russia and Ukraine and cautioned that the situation is in danger of spiraling into a major crisis, just as Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his decision to launch a 'military operation' in eastern Ukraine.

The 15-nation UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Ukraine late Wednesday night, the second meeting this week and the fourth since January 31 as tensions escalated between Russia and Ukraine.

As the UNSC meeting was underway, during which UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres made a direct appeal to Putin to stop your troops from attacking Ukraine , the Russian leader announced a military operation in eastern Ukraine.

09:35 (IST)

Russia-Ukraine crisis LATEST Updates

Oil prices break $100 on Russian 'military operation' in Ukraine

Oil prices soared past $100 for the first time in more than seven years on Thursday after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a "military operation" in Ukraine, apparently realising fears he would invade.

Brent surged to $100.04 a barrel after the announcement, as concerns grew about a full-scale conflict in eastern Europe. WTI hit $95.54.

It came after Putin made a surprise statement on television to declare his intentions.

"I have made the decision of a military operation," he said shortly before 6:00 am (0300 GMT) in Moscow. as he vowed retaliation against anyone who interfered. He also called on the Ukrainian military to lay down its arms.

-AFP

09:29 (IST)

Russia-Ukraine crisis LATEST Updates

Loud explosions heard in the eastern port city of Mariupol

Explosions were heard before dawn Thursday in Ukraine's capital Kyiv and the eastern port city of Mariupol, shortly after Russia's President Vladimir Putin announced an operation to "demilitarise" the country.

AFP correspondents in both cities heard powerful blasts and in Mariupol, close to the frontline and the Russian border, residents reported hearing artillery in the city's eastern suburbs.

09:27 (IST)

Russia-Ukraine crisis LATEST Updates 

Loud explosions heard in Kyiv city

On Thursday morning, loud explosions were heard in the Ukrainian city of Kyiv, according to multiple reports.

09:24 (IST)

Russia-Ukraine crisis LATEST Updates 

Ukraine shuts airports, declares some airspace as 'danger areas'

Airspace over all of Ukraine has been shut down to civilian air traffic, according to a notice posted to air crews early Thursday.

A commercial flight tracking website shows that an Israeli El Al Boeing 787 from Tel Aviv to Toronto turned abruptly out of Ukrainian airspace before detouring over Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland.

The only other aircraft tracked over Ukraine is a US RQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned surveillance plane that began flying westward out of Ukraine after Russia put in place flight restrictions over Ukrainian territory.

Last week, Ukrainian aviation officials warned pilots in the region to be on the lookout for Russian authorities trying to take control of the airspace and to only recognise Ukraine's controllers.

-AP

09:18 (IST)

Russia-Ukraine crisis LATEST Updates 

Putin announces 'military operation' in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday announced a military operation in Ukraine, claiming it's intended to protect civilians.

In a televised address, Putin said the action comes in response to threats coming from Ukraine. He added that Russia doesn't have a goal to occupy Ukraine. Putin said the responsibility for bloodshed lies with the Ukrainian "regime."

Putin warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to "consequences they have never seen."

Russia-Ukraine crisis LATEST Updates: Explosions were heard before dawn Thursday in Ukraine's capital Kyiv and the eastern port city of Mariupol, shortly after Russia's President Vladimir Putin announced an operation to "demilitarise" the country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday announced a military operation in Ukraine and warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to “consequences they have never seen.”

He said the attack was needed to protect civilians in eastern Ukraine – a claim the US had predicted he would falsely make to justify an invasion

In a televised address, Putin accused the US and its allies of ignoring Russia’s demand to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO and offer Moscow security guarantees. He said Russia's goal was not to occupy Ukraine.

U.S. President Joe Biden denounced the “unprovoked and unjustified” attack on Ukraine and said the world will “hold Russia accountable.”

As Putin spoke, big explosions were heard in Kyiv, Kharkiv and other areas of Ukraine.

A full-blown Russian invasion could cause massive casualties and topple Ukraine’s democratically elected government. And the consequences of the conflict and resulting sanctions levied on Russia could reverberate throughout the world, affecting energy supplies in Europe, jolting global financial markets and threatening the post-Cold War balance on the continent.

He said the Russian military operation aims to ensure a “demilitarization” of Ukraine. Putin urged Ukrainian servicemen to “immediately put down arms and go home.”

Putin announced the military operation after the Kremlin said rebels in eastern Ukraine asked Russia for military assistance to help fend off Ukrainian “aggression." The announcement immediately fueled fears that Moscow was offering up a pretext for war, just as the West had warned.

A short time later, the Ukrainian president rejected Moscow’s claims that his country poses a threat to Russia and said a Russian invasion would cost tens of thousands of lives.

“The people of Ukraine and the government of Ukraine want peace,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an emotional overnight address, speaking in Russian in a direct appeal to Russian citizens. “But if we come under attack, if we face an attempt to take away our country, our freedom, our lives and lives of our children, we will defend ourselves. When you attack us, you will see our faces, not our backs.”

Zelenskyy said he asked to arrange a call with Putin late Wednesday, but the Kremlin did not respond.

In an apparent reference to Putin’s move to authorize the deployment of the Russian military to “maintain peace” in eastern Ukraine, Zelensky warned that “this step could mark the start of a big war on the European continent.”

“Any provocation, any spark could trigger a blaze that will destroy everything,” he said.

The United Nations Security Council quickly scheduled an emergency meeting on the night of 23 February, 2022, at Ukraine's request. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called the separatists' request "a further escalation of the security situation."

Anxiety about an imminent Russian offensive against its neighbor soared after Putin recognized the separatist regions' independence on Monday, endorsed the deployment of troops to the rebel territories and received parliamentary approval to use military force outside the country. The West responded with sanctions.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the rebel chiefs wrote to Putin on 23 February, 2022, pleading with him to intervene after Ukrainian shelling caused civilian deaths and crippled vital infrastructure.

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Russia-Ukraine crisis LIVE Updates: Putin begins military operation in Ukraine; explosions heard in multiples places including Kyiv
Russia-Ukraine crisis LIVE Updates: Putin begins military operation in Ukraine; explosions heard in multiples places including Kyiv
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