| Last updated
Footage has emerged of a large explosion in eastern Ukraine amid Russia's invasion.
Within minutes of President Vladimir Putin declaring war on Ukraine this morning, February 24, blasts rocked a number of cities across the country, including Kharkiv, Kramatorsk, Mariupol and the capital Kyiv. Russia insisted air raids posed no threat to civilians, but casualties have been reported from residential units being shelled, as well as military infrastructure.
It's not entirely clear how many people have been killed due to conflicting reports from either side: Ukraine says at least 40 people have died and its military forces killed 50 Russian troops; whereas Russia denies these claims.
In a video obtained by the Associated Press, a huge explosion can be seen in the distance in Dnipro. It's not been confirmed how many people were killed or injured as a result of the blast.
Most recently, Ukraine's regional authorities said at least 18 people were killed in a missile attack on Odessa, coming as further Russian deployments have been reported around Ukraine's border, with military units moving across the border from Crimea. At least six people have also been killed in the Ukrainian city of Brovary, according to its mayor.
While Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the country's defence minister have called on those willing and able to join the defence against Russia, even offering to provide weapons to those who want them, many people have been trying to flee Kyiv.
Tetiana Kashtanova, who lives in the capital, told BBC News, 'We woke up at 5am because we heard some explosions. That’s how our day started. Many people are trying to leave right now so we have a giant traffic jam... we’re talking to our friends trying to calm everyone down... we believe in our army.'
As Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, lines of cars moved out of the capital, Kyiv, many heading west and hoping to find safety in parts of the country closer to Poland and NATO troops.— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 24, 2022
Follow live updates. https://t.co/PAz9fDpKyG pic.twitter.com/mvwKd3n4zw
While the EU, US and UK prepare a package of further sanctions, NATO member states Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have triggered Article Four in order launch consultations over the invasion, which could then lead to collective action.
Putin said Russia has no plans to occupy Ukraine, but warned the West not to interfere with the 'special military operation'.
'Whoever tries to interfere with us, and even more so, to create threats for our country, for our people, should know that Russia's response will be immediate and will lead you to such consequences that you have never experienced in your history... I hope that I have been heard,' he said.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read