Ukraine Explosions

Kyiv, Feb 24: Moments after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared war on Ukraine, large explosions were witnessed in the embattled country’s Kyiv and Kharkiv regions on Thursday.

The unverified widely shared video showed huge flashes of light on the darkened horizon, part of a Russian attack on eastern Ukraine.

Explosions were also reported in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol in Donetsk province, and in Belgorod Oblast in Russia.

In a televised address earlier, Vladimir Putin said he has authorized Russian troops to carry out a special military operation in the Donbas region of Ukraine. The Russian premier said the Russian military action aims to ensure a “demilitarization and denazification” of Ukraine and called on Ukrainian servicemen to lay down arms and leave the combat zone.

Ukraine explosions
The map shows some of the Russian attacks being reported across Ukraine

Also Read: US President Joe Biden denounces “unprovoked and unjustified” attack on Ukraine, pledges world will ‘hold Russia accountable”

Putin said the action comes in response to threats coming from Ukraine, adding that Russia doesn’t have a goal to occupy its neighbour. He also warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to “consequences they have never seen.”

The escalation in the conflict comes after Russian-backed separatists reported several explosions on their territory in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday, which allegedly resulted in three civilian deaths. The rebel leaders asked Russia for military assistance to help fend off Ukrainian “aggression”.