[EN DIRECT] Russian “military operation” in Ukraine: the latest news

This Thursday, February 24 at dawn, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “ military operation in Ukraine where powerful explosions sounded in several cities, Kiev claiming that a “ large-scale invasion was in progress.

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The main points:

► Russian President Vladimir Putin announced during a televised intervention very early on Thursday that he had authorized a special military operation in Ukraine.

► Powerful explosions were heard in several cities, including Kiev. The sirens were heard in the capital as well as in Lviv.

► The Russian army assures that it only targets Ukrainian military sites. Moscow claimed to have destroyed Ukrainian airbases and anti-aircraft defence, while Kyiv claimed to have shot down five Russian planes and a helicopter.

►“ Do not panic », « we will overcome said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in an address to the nation. He proclaimed martial law throughout the country.

► The ambassadors of the 30 member countries of NATO must meet urgently Thursday morning in Brussels.

► France, through the voice of Emmanuel Macron, condemned ” firmly Russia’s decision to wage war on Ukraine “. The French president convened a defense council at 9 a.m.

Times are given in Universal Time (UT)

8:12 a.m.: Ukrainian President orders to inflict maximum casualties » to the Russian forces (army chief)

8:10 a.m.: Russia risks unprecedented isolation “, declared to the press in Brussels the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell. He also clarified that the EU was preparing a new round of sanctions ” toughest ever implemented “.

7:44 a.m.: On the spot, the population tells of its concern in the face of the Russian attack. Listen to this testimony from a Frenchman who lives in Kiev.

Aurélien Martinez, a Frenchman who lives in Kiev

7:37 a.m.: According to Russian news agencies Interfax, navigation is suspended in the Sea of ​​Azov, which bathes Ukraine and Russia, since 1h UT.

7:36 a.m.: The Élysée indicates that it spoke to Volodymyr Zelensky, who called for “ the unit ” Europeans.

7:30 a.m.: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will chair a crisis meeting in the morning to decide on the “ response “to bring to the” horrible attacks of Russia against Ukraine, Downing Street announced.

7:25 a.m.: The Polish government announces that it has asked NATO to activate Article 4 of the Alliance Treaty, which provides for consultations in the event of a threat to the security of one of the parties. “A moment ago, the (Polish, editor’s note) ambassador in Brussels submitted such a request to the NATO secretary general, together with a group of allies,” said Polish government spokesman Piotr Müller. .

Special edition Russian “military operation” in Ukraine (part three)

7:18 a.m.: According to Ukrainian border guards, Russian ground forces entered the country. “ Russian military vehicles, including armored vehicles, violated the border in the regions of Chernigiv (north, Belarusian border), Sumy, Lugansk and Kharkiv by the crossing point between the Crimean peninsula and the mainland of Ukraine, indicated the border guards by publishing a video on which we see vehicles marked with the letter Z.

Screen capture from CCTV footage showing Russian military vehicles crossing the border at the Kalanchak checkpoint in Kherson Oblast, Ukraine, February 24, 2022.

7:01 a.m.: Explosions were heard in Kharkiv, the country’s second largest city, and in Mariupol, the largest Ukrainian city near the frontline. Earlier, explosions had been heard in Kramatorsk, a city in the east which serves as the headquarters of the Ukrainian army and in Odessa, on the Black Sea.

6:59 a.m.: French President Emmanuel Macron strongly condemns Russia’s decision to wage war on Ukraine » and calls to put « immediately end its military operations “.

6:44 a.m.: In the Kiev metro, dozens of residents try to take shelter or take a train, suitcase in hand to leave the city. Traffic jams are forming at city exits. “ Service stations are literally stormed by motorists. Long queues formed on the road from Mariupol to Zaporizhia “says our special correspondent Anastasia Bechio.

Motorists leave Kyiv after President Putin authorized a military operation in eastern Ukraine.

Special edition Russian “military operation” in Ukraine (part two)

6:16 a.m.: The Russian army said on Thursday that it had destroyed anti-aircraft defense systems and put “ out of order » the air bases of Ukraine, where Moscow launched a military operation in the morning. ” The military infrastructure of the airbases of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was decommissioned “Said the Russian Ministry of Defense, quoted by Russian news agencies. ” The air defense installations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were destroyed “, he added.

6:15 a.m. : The world must create a anti-Putin coalition and force Russia to peace (Zelensky)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks in Russian during a speech in Kiev, February 24, 2022.

6:10 a.m.: Russia announces it has destroyed Ukrainian airbases and anti-aircraft defense: agencies

Special edition Russian “military operation” in Ukraine (part one)

6:05 a.m.: Ukraine claims to have shot down five Russian planes and a helicopter: army

5:45 a.m.: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel denounced Russia’s attack on Ukraine and pledged to ask Moscow to ” accountable “. ” We strongly condemn Russia’s unjustified attack on Ukraine. In these dark times, our thoughts are with Ukraine and the innocent women, men and children who face this unprovoked attack and fear for their lives. “, they added.

5:42 : Ukraine under attack by Russia along Russian and Belarusian borders, Ukrainian border guards said in a statement. ” The Ukrainian state border was attacked by Russian troops from Russia and Belarus “says Ukraine. These attacks were notably carried out with the help of ” artillery “.

5:34 a.m.: The ambassadors of the thirty member countries of NATO will meet urgently Thursday morning in Brussels following the Russian military operation against Ukraine, announced a spokesperson for the Alliance.

5:32 a.m.: Putin chose bloodshed in Ukraine, denounces Boris Johnson.

5:10 a.m.: Don’t panic, we are ready for anything, we will overcome “, said Volodymyr Zelensky in a video message on Facebook.

5:00 a.m.: The head of the European Union promises to hold the Kremlin for “ responsible “of the attack” unjustified against Ukraine.

4:59: Martial law in Ukraine (Zelensky).

4:57: The Russian army says it targets Ukrainian military sites with “ high precision weapons » (agencies)

4h50: Ukraine also announced the closure of its airspace for civil aviation.

In this screenshot from the FlightRadar24 site, all flights are rerouted to avoid flying over Ukraine.

4h48: Joe Biden speaks with Ukrainian President Zelensky (White House)

4:39: Moscow target the ruling junta in Kiev “says the Russian ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia. ” We are not aggressive towards the Ukrainian people, but towards the ruling junta in Kyiv he said at the end of his speech to the United Nations Security Council.

4:30 a.m.: The draft resolution condemning Russia will be tabled this Thursday at the UN Security Council, vote expected Friday, February 25 (Washington).

4:17 a.m.: Russia launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine (head of Ukrainian diplomacy).

4:15 : Not far from the eastern conflict front, in Kramatorsk, a city which also serves as the headquarters of the Ukrainian army, at least four powerful explosions were also heard by AFP journalists.

4:14 : Russia-Ukraine: This conflict must end now “, Claims the head of the UN, Antonio Guterres.

4:11 a.m.: The French ambassador to the UN, Nicolas de Rivière, denounced on Wednesday evening contempt displayed by Russia to the United Nations after Vladimir Putin announced “ a military operation ” in Ukraine.

4:02 : NATO condemns a reckless and unprovoked attack by Russia.

3h45 : Explosions reported in Mariupol.

3:33 : An explosion was heard in Kiev.

3:29 : For Joe Biden, Russia’s attack on Ukraine will cause “ catastrophic human suffering and loss “. ” The world will demand accountability from Russia “, says the American president.

3:02 : The Russian president promises to respond to those who would interfere with the Russian operation in Ukraine.

2h54 : Putin calls on Ukrainian soldiers to ” Throw down the weapons “.

2h54 : Russian President Vladimir Putin announces a military operation in Ukraine to defend the separatists in the east of the country. “ I made the decision of a military operation “, he said in a surprise statement on television shortly before 3 a.m. UT.

We will strive to denazify Ukraine…