At the same time, Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky says Russia is attacking his country’s “military infrastructure” and border guards. He has urged citizens not to panic, while at the same time, vowing victory. In a video message posted on Facebook, after the launch of the military operation, Zelensky introduced martial law across the country.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation” in eastern Ukraine has been swiftly condemned by several nations.
The authorisation by Putin was made at the same time as the United Nations Security Council met for its second emergency meeting this week to urge de-escalation and return to diplomatic talks. According to Russian media, Putin has given approval to the operation in the Donbas region of Ukraine, where Moscow earlier recognised rebel-held territories in Luhansk and Donetsk.
Meanwhile, the border guard service says Ukraine is coming under Russian artillery fire and land invasion along its northern and southern borders, adding that Ukrainian forces are returning fire. According to AFP, the border guards say Russian forces are supported by Belarus and that an attack had been launched from Crimea, the Russian-occupied peninsula region on Ukraine’s southern flank.