Russia has launched a military operation on Ukraine that opened with air and missile attacks on Ukrainian military facilities before troops and tanks rolled across the borders.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on Thursday morning that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people “who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years.” The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories.
The Russian Defense Ministry reassured that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, but are limited to surgically striking and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure. There are no threats whatsoever to the civilian population.
Russia has launched a military operation on Ukraine that opened with air and missile attacks on Ukrainian military facilities before troops and tanks rolled across the borders. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address early on Friday that 137 people, both servicemen and civilians, have been killed and hundreds more wounded.
Zelensky says Russia-Ukraine dialogue to cease hostilities will begin sooner or later
“Sooner or later, Russia will have to talk to us, tell us how to end the hostilities and stop this invasion, the sooner the conversation starts, the fewer losses will be”, Zelensky said in his address.
Several blasts head in Kiev early on Friday
Several blasts were heard in the Ukrainian capital Kiev early on Friday, the UNIAN news agency reported.
According to the report, the blasts were heard in various districts of the Ukrainan capital at 04:22 local time.
France says Putin needs to understand NATO has nuclear weapons
France’s foreign minister said that Russian President Vladimir Putin, when making threats about using nuclear weapons, needs to understand that NATO, too, is a nuclear alliance, but he ruled out NATO-led military intervention to defend Ukraine.
EU sanctions to prevent Russia from processing and selling oil: EC President
A new package of European sanctions against Russia, approved by leaders of the 27 European member states during an emergency summit on Thursday night, will hamper Russia’s oil refining and sales and cause billions in losses, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told reporters in Brussels on Friday.
In her words, the EU sanctions against Russia’s energy sector prohibit exports of “instruments <…> that are crucial to refining the oil.”
“These instruments are built in Europe, they are unique and cannot be replaced globally by other suppliers,” she added.
EU says sanctions target 70 percent of Russian banking market
European Union leaders have agreed to sanctions on Moscow that target 70 percent of the Russian banking market and key state-owned companies, including in defence, EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said in a tweet.