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137 Civilians, Soldiers Dead in Ukraine After Russia Invades Country

As citizens rushed out of Kyiv amid shelling, others took shelter in underground metro stations and basements.

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Video Producer: Shohini Bose

Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam

At least 137 people, including both soldiers and civilians, were killed after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a "special operation" on Ukraine on Thursday, 24 February, effectively declaring war.

137 have been killed and 326 wounded, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a televised address on Thursday.

“I see no one to fight alongside Ukraine," he lamented.

Earlier in the day, eighteen civilians were reported dead from a military base near Ukraine's Black Sea port city of Odessa and seven people were killed and 17 were wounded in a missile attack on a military area in Brovary, northeast of Kyiv, CNN reported, citing Ukrainian authorities.

Russia said that its military had destroyed more than 70 military targets, including 11 airfields, in Ukraine.

As per defence military officials, the first day of the invasion had 'achieved all its goals' and destroyed 83 Ukrainian military ground targets, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian police on Thursday said Russia had carried out 203 attacks since the beginning of the day and added that fighting was going on almost everywhere throughout Ukraine.

Ukraine President Zelenskyy said on Thursday evening that fighting was underway between the Ukrainian military and the invading Russian troops for the control of Chernobyl nuclear plant.

He also announced that Russia had captured an airfield near the capital city of Kyiv. The Antonov Airport, also known as Hostomel Airport, lies about 25 miles away from Kyiv.

Curfew Announced in Kyiv

Kyiv’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko also announced a curfew in the Ukrainian capital from 10 pm to 7 am local time.

“Public transport will not work during curfew. At the same time, metro stations will be available as shelters 24/7,” Klitschko said.

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    People walk in a subway to get a train as they leave the city of Kyiv, Ukraine.

    (Photo: PTI/Emilio Morenatti)

  • 02/02

    Traffic jams are seen as people leave the city of Kyiv, Ukraine.

    (Photo: PTI/Emilio Morenatti)

Air raid sirens went off in Ukraine's capital Kyiv on Thursday with reports of air strikes, missile attacks, and explosions.

Hundreds of citizens rushed out of the city, while others took shelter in underground metro stations and basements against shelling.

Martial Law was also declared in the country, with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirming that military bases around the country had come under attack. The country also broke all diplomatic ties with Russia.

Catch the live updates on the Russia-Ukraine crisis here.

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Russian Forces Enter Crimea, Explosions Heard in Kyiv & Other Cities

Security camera footage showed a line of Russian military vehicles, including tanks and other equipment, crossing into Ukraine from Russian-annexed Crimea on Thursday morning, AP reported.

Reuters, too, cited the Ukrainian border guard as saying that separate Russian military personnel have crossed across the border, into Chernihiv, Kharkiv, and Luhansk regions.

Tanks moved into the city of Mariupol.

Explosions were heard in Kharkiv, a major Ukrainian city just south of the Russian border. Smoke was also seen rising from major airbases outside the city, AFP reported.

Powerful explosions were also heard in Ukraine's Black Sea port Odessa.

Meanwhile, the Ukraine military said that five Russian planes and a Russian helicopter were shot down in Luhansk region, Reuters reported. Ukraine has claimed that it has killed "around 50 Russian occupiers," AFP reported.

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Ukraine Asks Those 'Ready and Able To Hold a Weapon' To Join the Ranks

Taking to Twitter, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy issued a desperate plea against the Russian offensive, saying, "We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country. Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities."

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter, "Ukraine will defend itself and will win. Putin has just launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Peaceful Ukrainian cities are under strikes. This is a war of aggression. The world can and must stop Putin. The time to act is now."

Ukraine Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said, "Anyone who is ready and able to hold a weapon can join the ranks of the Territorial Defence Forces."

'Will Hold Russia Accountable': Biden; EU To Target Russia With 'Massive' Sanctions

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden said on Thursday,

"President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering. Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable."

"I will be monitoring the situation from the White House this evening and will continue to get regular updates from my national security team... We will also coordinate with our NATO Allies to ensure a strong, united response that deters any aggression against the Alliance," he said.

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Blaming President Putin for "bringing war back to Europe," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said,

"In these dark hours, European Union (EU) stands together with Ukraine and its people. What we're facing is an unprecedented act of aggression by Russian leadership against a sovereign, independent country."

She announced that the body would present a package of "massive and targeted sanctions" to European leaders for their approval.

She further emphasised:

"Russia's target is not just Donbas, the target is not just Ukraine, the target is stability in Europe and the whole international rules-based order. For that, we will hold Russia accountable."
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, as quoted by ANI.

The Russian Foreign Ministry, in a press conference on Thursday, vowed 'tough' retaliation to EU sanctions imposed over Ukraine invasion.

Carry Your Passport at All Times, Evacuation Arrangements Being Made: India To Nationals in Ukraine

The Indian Embassy in Kyiv has issued a statement saying, "In view of closure of Ukrainian air space, schedule of special flights stands cancelled. Alternative arrangements are being made for evacuation of Indian nationals."

"Please carry your passports and necessary documents on your person at all times," it states.

The embassy also issued a statement advising all those travelling towards Kyiv to return to their respective cities, "especially towards safer western bordering countries".

(With inputs from Reuters, AFP and ANI.)

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Topics:  Russia   Ukraine   Vladimir Putin 

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