Urging Ukrainians to defend the country against Russian attack, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter, “We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country. Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities.”
New Delhi: As many as 40 people have been killed so far in the large-scale attack launched by Russia on Ukraine Thursday morning, AFP news agency quoted Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy as saying. Out of those killed around 10 were civilians, the news agency added.
Oleksii Arestovich, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also informed that several dozen people have been wounded.
Arestovich said the Russian strike on air bases and various other military infrastructure was not successful in routing the country’s military. He said that Ukraine suffered casualties, but they “aren’t significant”, adding that the Russian strikes “haven’t eroded the combat capability of the Ukrainian military”.
Arestovich also said that the Russian troops moved up to 5 km (about 3 miles) deep into the Ukrainian territory in the Kharkiv and Chernihiv regions, and, possibly in other areas. Appealing to Ukrainians, he said, “The future of the Ukrainian people depends on every Ukrainian,” and asked citizens who can defend the country to come to the Interior Ministry’s assembly facilities.
Taking to Twitter, President Zelenskyy wrote, “We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country. Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities.”
Earlier today, Ukrainian border guards had released footage of “Russian military vehicles moving in”, while big explosions were heard in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, Kharkiv in the east and Odesa in the west. The Russian military claimed to have wiped out Ukraine’s entire air defenses in a matter of hours.
Amid the Russian threat, Ukrainians fled some cities and European authorities declared Ukrainian air space an active conflict zone.
Meanwhile, NATO envoys held an emergency session to bolster its defenses in allies neighbouring both countries. Calling Russia’s large-scale attack on Ukraine a “grave breach”, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement as per AP, “This is a grave breach of international law, and a serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security.” He added that the allies are meeting “to address the consequences of Russia’s aggressive actions”.