Ukraine: Young Civilian Reported Dead As More Than 40 Soldiers Killed
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A young civilian has been reported dead and more than 40 soldiers have been killed in the wake of Russia's attacks on Ukraine.
Residents in Ukraine have been encouraged to stay at home or seek shelter in bomb shelters, after missiles and shells began to strike the country just minutes after Vladimir Putin announced an invasion this morning, February 24.
Putin claimed in his address that Russia did 'not plan to impose [themselves] on anyone', though Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy argued the country would respond if it was 'attacked militarily'.
In a speech directed at Russian citizens and cited by CNN, Zelenskyy said Ukraine would 'defend' itself if Russian troops 'try to take away our freedom, our lives, our children's lives', adding, 'When you attack, you will see our faces and not our spines, our faces.'
As the situation continues to unfold, an adviser in Ukraine's presidential office confirmed there have been civilian casualties. According to Ukraine's emergency service, per The Telegraph, a young civilian died as a result of a shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-biggest city. A correspondent for the publication has described hearing 'artillery thuds' while on the ground in the city.
More than 40 soldiers are also reported to have been killed in the attacks, and several dozen have been injured. This morning, Ukraine’s foreign ministry said 'the situation is under control' and that Russian troops are suffering losses, The Guardian reports. An update from the Ukrainian military claimed that four Russian tanks had been destroyed and 50 troops were killed in Luhansk in retaliation for the aerial assault.
BREAKING: Apartment complex near Ukraine's Kharkiv hit by airstrike, causing an unknown number of casualties - reporter pic.twitter.com/PdQxuprwWv— BNO News (@BNONews) February 24, 2022
Zelenskyy has reportedly called on any citizens who are ready to defend the country from Russian forces to come forward and assured the capital of Kyiv would issue weapons to anyone who wants them.
Prior to the invasion, Serhiy Kryvonos, a retired special forces general and former deputy secretary of the national security and defence council, acknowledged that the Russian army has 'better weapons and technical equipment' than Ukraine, according to The Guardian.
However, he admitted that while Ukraine 'may lose battles or campaigns', Russia would never be able to win the country 'if the Ukrainian people are motivated'.
Zelenskyy has stressed that the government's 'main goal is to maintain peace in Ukraine and keep Ukrainian citizens safe'. To achieve this, he said, the country is prepared to hold discussions with 'everyone', including Russia.
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Topics: News, Russia, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, Politics