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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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Ukraine-Russia: Putin Declares War As Russian Ground Troops Cross Border

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Explosions heard across country, including Kiev, as Russian president announces start of war.

Vladimir Putin announced, during the night, the beginning of a large-scale military operation on Ukrainian territory. He assures us that he does not want an “occupation” of Ukraine, but its “demilitarization”, and promises “consequences that you have never known before” to those “who would try to interfere”.

Russian ground troops appear to have crossed the Crimea border into Ukraine after Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” in the east of the country.

Video footage shows armoured vehicles rolling through border force checkpoints on Thursday morning. Ukraine’s border force said a number of its guards were injured.

Shortly after Putin’s televised address, explosions were also reported in the outskirts of the cities of Kharkiv, Kramatorsk, Mariupol, as well as the capital Kiev.

US president Joe Biden and Boris Johnson joined other global powers in condemning Russia’s ‘unprovoked and unjustified’ attack on Ukraine as and promised to hold it “accountable”.

Inside the country, airports have been shut down temporarily and secured against potential Russian aircraft landings, while Russia has closed its own airspace around the border to civilian access for the next four months.

Beijing on Thursday urged all parties to “restrain”, but refused to describe the Russian military attack as an “invasion”. “China is closely following the latest developments,” a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman said.

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