Russia reveals strike targets in Ukraine
The Russian Defense Ministry has claimed that the its armed forces are attacking Ukrainian military facilities as part of an ongoing operation in the country. Precision weapons are being used against military infrastructure, air defense sites, military airfields and aircraft, a statement quoted by RIA Novosti said.
The military has asserted that Russia is not attacking Ukrainian cities, contrary to claims from other sources. Ukrainian civilians are not under threat, the statement said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed that the nation's military sites were under attack. Speaking in a video address, he announced martial law in the country.
He called on Ukrainians to stay calm and preferably not leave their homes. He said Ukraine was “strong” and will “defeat anyone.”
Earlier on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he had authorized a “special military operation” in Ukraine. He said the goal of the action was to “demilitarize” and “de-Nazify” Russia’s neighbor, claiming that it was the best option to protect the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Russia.
Putin recognized the two regions as sovereign states on Monday and vowed to use the Russian Armed Forces to protect them. The republics claim large chunks of territory controlled by Ukraine as their own. Russia has recognized those claims. On Wednesday, the two republics demanded that Ukraine pull back its troops to the border lines of what Kiev considers to be the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine, which it refused to do. The leaders of the republics said Ukrainian troops had continued to attack their positions and asked for Russia’s help in repelling them.